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"The most prominent leader and teacher of 
New Thought." — James H. Snowden 








Author of "The Power of Silence," "A History 

of the New Thought Movement," 

"The Open Vision," etc. 



Copyright, 1922, 

Printed in the Umted States of America 

MAR 23 1922 


Interest in spiritual healing has reached a 
point where it is no longer necessary to dwell 
on such elementary matters as the influence of 
fear and worry, the power of suggestion and 
the utilizing of the subconscious. These con- 
siderations are now taken for granted by those 
who believe that inner healing is more than 
mental. Suggestion is not regarded as decisive 
except by those who would ignore the spiritual 
life and limit healing to the sphere of psychol- 
ogy. For those of us who believe that the 
spiritual life is inseparable from true spiritual 
healing, the question of mental influences and 
mental methods is forever secondary. It ought 
rather to be a question of cultivating the mode 
of life which produces spiritual health. All our 
efforts should be constructive. Our clues should 
be drawn from the ideal, not through study of 
conditions w^hich produce disease. 

To be normal, to live in spiritual health is to 
be in accord with the universe: to think, will, 
live by the Divine order. Spiritual health is 
the standard set for man by God's purpose in 
bringing him into being. It is man's birthright 



as heir of the heavenly kingdom. It is inherent 
in his nature as created in the Divine image and 
likeness. Jesus came among us to disclose that 
standard in its fulness, and establish it in the 
minds and hearts of men by inspiring works and 
words. He promised greater works when it 
should become a social ideal. He taught that 
wisdom which should become man's guide in 
living the life which produces health and free- 
dom. A spiritual science was implied in those 
teachings. A spiritual art was exemplified by 
those works and words of healing. Those who 
would be true followers ought to give this science 
first place, taking the clue from Christ as arche- 

Interest in spiritual health begins from above 
and works down, from within and works out. 
Ordinary healing is from below and is con- 
cerned with measures of relief and the improve- 
ment of man's material environment. Christ 
bids man so live that health shall always radiate 
from him as virtue radiates from one whose 
religion is "to do good." Thus health is made 
a secondary consideration in comparison with 
that larger, more splendid life which manifests 
health as one of the signs of its beauty. Health 
is to be a result of the abundant life. It will 
come as a consequence, just as our tastes change, 
our manners become more gentle, our affections 

Pkeface vii 

more constant, our faces more radiant through 
the inner touch of the Spirit. 

In the following pages this philosophy of the 
Christ is taken for granted. Many writers have 
taught it in their favorite ways, since the time 
of P. P. Quimby, who was the first healer in 
our day to plead for a "Science of the Christ." 
This philosophy includes the idea of the Divine 
indwelling as the guiding principle of the inner 
life, of the spiritual world as the nearby source 
of real power ; the idea that there is a heavenly 
purpose in our strivings, that the natural world 
is a theatre for the development of the soul. If 
different writers would express these introduc- 
tory matters in various ways, all would agree 
that the endeavor to live by this higher wisdom 
is the great consideration. 

The chief need at present is for a clearer 
statement of the ideas which lead beyond mental 
to spiritual healing. Some teachers would put 
the whole matter in the present tense, affirming 
the ideal as realized now, making light of the 
natural world with its opportunities, and pass- 
ing by the ages of philosophic thought. Hence 
they would identify man in his real selfhood 
with "the Christ within" and end the matter 
with ever-varying affirmations turning upon one 
idea. Others would maintain that we make no 
headway except through acknowledgment of 

viii Preface 

"the light of Christ in the soul" as leading us 
on to greater and greater attainments. While 
they would agree that man in spirit already 
exists in the Divine image and likeness, they 
would find reality and meaning in his progress 
from stage to stage in the natural world. It 
would seem clear that the truth of the Christ 
is too great and too wonderful to be appre- 
hended except as man looks up to the Master, 
admitting that he has more and more to learn. 
It is this view which we plead for. A new state- 
ment of this ideal is called for because the trend 
of thought among people interested in inner 
healing is too much the other way. We hope 
to show that this philosophy of upliftment to- 
ward the Christ is the true view of spiritual 

A word seems to be called for concerning "A 
History of the New Thought Movement," 1919. 
Some reviewers have complained because I did 
not indulge in adverse criticisms. But I had 
supposed a historian should be impartial. I was 
telling a story, not commenting on its reality or 
truth. In other volumes, especially "A Hand- 
book of the New Thought," 1917, I had made 
critical estimates enough; pointing out that the 
psychology of the New Thought is one-sided, 
that some leaders tend to exalt the human self 
so as to make it a god, thereby advocating ego- 

Preface ix 

tism instead of spiritual healing. My interest 
in the movement was to call attention afresh to 
its beginnings, in order to emphasize the fact 
that the therapeutic movement had not realized 
its spiritual standard. Since 1919, the remain- 
ing branches of the movement, save one, have 
been united in an effort to make the Christ the 
cardinal principle. It is now a question of look- 
ing forward to see what the movement will make 
of the Christ as its ideal. 

Critics of New Thought and Christian Sci- 
ence in its various forms have pointed out that 
we are not "parts" of God, because God is one 
and indivisible; that man is not "life in it- 
self," for God only is life in itself; that man is 
not "one with God," but may be conjoined with 
Him through responsiveness: hence that man's 
recipiency of life is measured by his love, not 
by his affirmation or thought. These discrimi- 
nations point the way beyond mysticism and 
pantheism in all its forms, beyond self-centred- 
ness and mere thought to the ideal of constancy 
of love for God and man in frank recognition of 
our sonship. The whole outlook changes with 
the adoption of this higher point of view. We 
realize that the spiritual life has hardly begun, 
since it is rather a gift of the Spirit in us than 
the work of our efforts at self-control and effi- 
ciency in the use of thought. It changes too be- 

x Preface 

cause we adopt the idea of a spiritual incoming 
of power, touching the inmost being first, then 
quickening the understanding, spreading through 
mental life as a whole. The ideal is no longer 
a mere settling down into self in poise and com- 
posure, as if we had nothing to acknowledge 
and nothing to overcome; it is the attainment 
of inner openness to the Spirit, that the Divine 
life may freely course through all channels. It 
means that regeneration is still essential, hence 
that we need to make ready by purifying our 
desires, living on simpler food, keeping closer to 
nature, and avoiding anything like drugs and 
stimulants which clog and impede. Right think- 
ing assumes its proper place at last as instru- 
mental to right living. The life is a test in a 
far deeper way than we had realized. There 
is something better than being either healed or 
cured. We need a nobler prevailing love. We 
need practical Christianity in all its fulness. 
We need the inner or spiritual Word. We need 
the living Christ, the glorified Lord. This is 
the great truth of the New Age. Interest in 
spiritual healing is one of the tendencies of life 
today which point to this truth. We have not 
begun to interpret it aright until we regard the 
healing movement in this its relation to the new 
time. We may therefore pass beyond the cru- 
dities and extravagant claims in quest of the 

Preface xi 

really spiritual element. The discerning reader 
will find in these pages a very different way of 
stating the whole matter, and will proceed to 
test it by direct reference to life, in contrast 
with the mere criticism of theories. 

The best way, in fact, to overcome the limita- 
tions of those who have not grasped the full idea 
of spiritual healing is to look back to the pro- 
phetic teachings of the New Age. For some 
this will mean deeper study of the writings of 
Swedenborg. For others it will mean pro- 
founder knowledge of Dr. Quimby's philosophy. 
In writing this volume I have had both of these 
interests in mind. Some of the chapters are 
concerned with Swedenborg's theory of the 
Divine influx. In others I have tried to make a 
clearer statement of the ideas and methods which 
Dr. Quimby sets forth in his manuscripts. This 
book may then be regarded as an estimate of the 
Quimby method of healing. It is not written 
in Quimby's terms. I have not assumed that 
Quimby's view is in every way superior to ideas 
now passing current. But it was the original 
view, it contained the spiritual impetus which 
gave rise to the modern therapeutic movement, 
it was the result of many years of pioneer work 
in this field, and it is still the view by which we 
may most directly test our own ideas and meth- 
ods. My parents were patients under Quim- 

xii Preface 

by's care in Portland, Maine, and from Dr. 
Quimby they learned the method of silent heal- 
ing which is here advocated. I have felt it a 
duty I owed to humanity both to publish the 
manuscripts and to make my own statement of 
the ideas and methods which have come down 
to us from Quimby. I began to put this work 
in final form with the publication of ''The 
Power of Silence," Boston, 1895. The present 
volume completes this work, as the prime re- 
sult of a later study of Quimby's writings. 



I. The Power of the Spirit 1 

II. The Priceless Possession 13 

III. The Christ 27 

IV. The Spiritual Science 41 

V. The Christ Method 55 

VI. Spiritual Health 66 

VII. Spirit and Body 80 

VIII. True Spiritual Healing 94 

IX. The Affirmative Attitude 108 

X. The Quickening Word 122 

XI. "With Signs Following 136 

XII. The Value of Denials 149 

XIII. Spiritual Influx 160 

XIV. The Intuitive Method 178 

XV. Spiritual Success 192 

XVI. Instantaneous Healing 202 

XVII. The Overcoming of Disease 209 

XVIII. Creative Health 222 

XIX. The Secret Place 234 

XX. How to Demonstrate 250 

XXI. Summary and Definition 265 

XXII. Spiritual Psychology 290 




Two generations ago, in a small New Eng- 
land city, a promising young man of twenty-two 
lay apparently at the point of death. On both 
sides of his house the ancestors were physically 
weak, and all save two in a family of nine had 
already passed from this life when our record 
begins. The young man of whom we are speak- 
ing was frail in physique. There seemed to be 
little power of resistance to withstand the on- 
coming of a disease ordinarily accounted fatal 
as matters go in this world of allegiance to ma- 
terial things. In type he was spiritually minded 
and highly intuitive, inclined to think for him- 
self and exercise rights of individual initiative. 
He was zealous in religion, devoted to the 
church, eager in fact to prepare himself for the 
ministry if his health should permit the comple- 
tion of his college course. On the side of faith 


2 Spiritual Health and Healing 

as conventionally understood nothing more could 
indeed have been asked. 

He had joined the church at sixteen with a 
large measure of emotional enthusiasm. He reg- 
ularly attended all services and was especially 
zealous in prayer-meeting. He was a Calvinist, 
however, in the thorough-going sense of the 
word. God to him was little more than a Man 
seated on a white throne of authority outside 
the world, a God to be admired with awesome 
reverence rather than a Father to be loved. 
Naturally our young man, devout as he was, had 
no idea of the power of divine love as an in- 
dwelling presence to be sought as one might 
turn to a friend. Christianity was a doctrine of 
salvation interpreted as a Baptist of the period 
understood it. Salvation as thus conceived by: 
no means included the problems of bodily weak- 
ness and ill-health. Prayer was for certain pur- 
poses. The observances decreed by the church 
were to be rigidly adhered to, leaving mundane 
matters for consideration in their proper place. 
Among these matters was the question of dis- 
ease, and the physicians of the old school had 
apparently done their utmost to save this young 

Then there came from a wholly unexpected 
source a marvellous change into this young life. 
This change not only meant that he was rescued 

The Power of the Spirit 

from the abyss of death by spiritual means when 
material methods had failed, but that he was 
given a new impetus and an understanding of 
life which enabled him to live on this earth dur- 
ing many years of great usefulness. It will be 
worth while considering what wrought the 
change, why it could be so pronounced in the 
case of a man emphatically spiritual in type, 
genuinely a Christian as the Gospel was then 

There came as if heaven-sent a man whose 
work among the sick had no place among thera- 
peutic systems commonly known as scientific. 
He did not give medicines or drugs. He had 
no system of physical treatment. Nor did he 
even diagnose disease by its symptoms, or in- 
quire into verdicts pronounced by those compe- 
tent to make a diagnosis. He received as 
patients those whose faith gave them impetus 
enough to visit his office or send for him. With- 
out asking questions, he sat meditatively by his 
patients to gather whatever impressions might 
come intuitively by his own way of seeking such 
discernment. Having gained his impression and 
sought light on the problem before him, he put 
his mind through a realization akin to prayer 
as an act of worship, but more effective than such 
prayers as our young man was wont to hear on 
Friday evenings at church. He believed that 

4 Spiritual Health and Healing 

God is directly accessible through prayer, yet 
with additional faith in the immediate response 
of the human spirit as potential master of the 
body. This definite and practical faith implied 
the utilizing of healing power to restore the body 
through the spirit. Proceeding by his own 
method, he ventured to seek help from within 
when all hope of a cure through conventional 
methods had passed. For in his practice with 
the sick he was not governed by outward appear- 
ances or even by signs which indicate the near-by 
presence of death. What signified was the state 
of a person's spirit and the possibility of leading 
a responsive person into the light out of the 
darkness of threatening miseries and fears. 

Many people were restored to health by this 
true believer in the presence of God, some of 
whom became active workers when they grasped 
the principle. The world has since become 
familiar with the idea of mental healing, and 
is quick to arrive at the conclusion that this is 
what one means, namely, that by the influence 
of one mind on another through " suggestion" 
changes are wrought which physical means fail 
to accomplish. But here our account would 
end if this were an adequate explanation. Our 
reason for telling about the marvellous result ac- 
complished in this young man's life is found in 
the fact that the change was more than victory 

The Power of the Spirit 

over death and the successful staying of a dis- 
ease presumably fatal. It will hardly be pos- 
sible to see the meaning of this profound turn- 
ing of a young life from one channel into 
another if we look at it as a mental cure. The 
change was the equivalent of a conversion and 
much more, if by a conversion we mean the adop- 
tion of a creed which makes of a worldly man a 
follower of Christ. For this young man had 
already given himself to Christ. Strange to re- 
late, in adopting the teachings of the new thera- 
peutist he renounced the church as an organiza- 
tion, together with all its observances, also his 
desire to become a minister. Yet on the other 
hand he became more faithfully a follower of 
Christ than before. 

The apparent paradox is resolved when we 
note that the transition was from the Calvinistic 
deity to faith in God as immanent, loving, guid- 
ing Father, immediate and accessible, in a sense 
as intimate as that of our own self -consciousness 
when aware that there is an ideal self within us, 
when we will to have that self become actual in 
daily life. It meant the conviction that the true 
God is already present in our spirit to uplift 
and make us free as rapidly as we come to recog- 
nize and respond, admitting the divine life into 
all parts of our being. It signified the disclosure 
of the original gospel of health and freedom 

6 Spiritual Health and Healing 

taught and proved by the Master. Sectarian 
Christianity no longer existed for him. He re- 
acted against its limitations as against the faults 
of medical science and practice. Yet he did not 
in any sense cease to believe in Christ as the true 
Saviour of the world. 

That his was a genuine conversion in the prac- 
tical sense of the word was shown by the fact 
that, once restored to active service, he began to 
live by what to him was a new gospel and to 
give his time to spreading this gospel in the world. 
We naturally look for different signs if we gain 
this point of view, and we are not surprised when 
we find a person somewhat critical of the old 
order of thought. For the reaction, in the case 
of a man who discards theology as a formulated 
scheme but retains religion, is in favor of what 
is spiritually essential. It is constructive and 
worthy of being regarded from within. Intel- 
lectually it is critical because the understanding 
must be clarified. Spiritually it assimilates all 
that was best in the type of thought that has 
been discarded. 

Later, our young man was fond of saying that 
one must set aside all preconceptions for the 
time being, to grasp the new point of view as a 
"spiritual science." So we too must neglect for 
the moment ideas which are familiar and toward 
which w r e strongly incline, if we shall enter sym- 

The Potter of the Spirit 

pathetically into a spirit of truth capable of giv- 
ing a creative impetus in Christian life. This is 
not easy for those who judge by doctrines in 
contrast with experience disclosing new fields. 

This gospel involved the idea that Christ is 
not a Person in the sense in which orthodox be- 
lievers associate the Son with the Father in the 
Trinity. The leading idea was that Christ was 
divine wisdom taught and exemplified by the his- 
torical personality, Jesus of Xazareth, whom we 
begin truly to understand when we make this dis- 
crimination. The extent to which such a distinc- 
tion is justifiable by interpretation of the Gospels 
is a question which we postpone for the time 
being. We are now concerned with its practical 
consequences through belief in "the light of 
Christ in the soul/' the living Christ near to the 
heart of every sincere believer, the divine wisdom 
and love made concrete in our needs and aspira- 

Much depends on our prior thought concern- 
ing the human self. If instead of regarding 
man as "fallen" or dwelling upon his shortcom- 
ings and his sins, pitying him in his miserable 
plight and emphasizing the need of supernatural 
salvation, we hold that man is by birthright free 
and sound, yet at first ignorant and in need of 
experience w^hich shall make him aware of resi- 
dent divine powers within him, we are ready for 

8 Spiritual Health and Healing 

the proposition that Christ is the enlightenment 
needed to awaken man to his true estate. For 
man's miseries are unwittingly of his own mak- 
ing, ignorant that he is a spirit endowed with 
power in the image and likeness of God. These 
miseries belong with man's lesser selfhood when, 
under bondage to material sense, he is like one 
sleeping. Even our young man with all his 
Christian zeal was as one in a dream. To 
awaken him was to give him a different idea of 
what it means to be faithful to the Master, to 
believe in God and live by the divine wisdom. 
It was to start from within in the living present, 
the divine moment of his true selfhood. It was 
to concentrate upon what man is ideally, touched 
with the fulness of life by the quickening pres- 
ence of Christ. 

History virtually disappears from this point 
of view and one sees the living Christ coming 
through the mists with a glad message of light 
and freedom. Whatever is deemed noblest and 
best is already here. This was the real purport 
of the Gospels, that we should find the living 
Christ now. This means an ever-present re- 
source, for power, for health, for life wherewith 
to break down barriers which imprison souls and 
set them free. It does not mean the exaltation 
of the self, as if one claimed for the man of to- 
day what the wisest men of the ages have missed. 

The Power of the Spirit 9 

It does not mean undue emphasis on inner ex- 
perience, as if in one's egotism one attributed all 
power to finite man. Yet it certainly does mean 
an application of ancient truth which has eluded 
good and wise men. It gives every one, however 
humble his station, however great his trouble, op- 
portunity to begin where he is and live by the 
science which Jesus taught when summoning men 
to fulness of being. 

The impressive characteristic of the healer 
who restored our young man was constructive 
humility, an exceptional combination of true 
receptivity interposing no obstacle and an af- 
firmativeness reaching beyond what ordinary 
Christians venture to claim. This is vastly dif- 
ferent from attributing all virtue to the finite 
self. It calls for much more thorough renovation 
of one's life than is usually expected by priest or 
physician, each of whom ordinarily asks us to 
reform but half a man. It means taking life 
seriously indeed, yet with a joy, a benefit, a free- 
dom, with powers of service beyond comparison. 

Our young man began to reform the whole 
man — he who needed it less in most respects than 
many men do. Or, rather the Spirit wrought such 
regeneration in him. The Spirit summoned him 
to live a consistent life in mind and body. He 
was still handicapped, with his frail physique 
and difficult inheritance. But he began anew to 

10 Spiritual Health and Healing 

work on and up. He led a triumphant life of 
the spirit. That is the great consideration. 

Too often we judge a human life by its fail- 
ures, by disfigurements and injuries which do not 
wholly disappear, by apparent lapses and in- 
consistencies. We should gain the point of view 
of the achieving spirit, taking up one phase of 
life after another as steadily as each can be un- 
derstood and brought into line. The perfect 
demonstration will come only when the entire 
human race is regenerated. No one can truly 
know himself in the profounder sense save as a 
member of a human family whose weaknesses 
and ignorance he shares when he starts on the 
long road. No one can begin truly to be free 
unless he extends a helping hand to fellow mor- 
tals. Indeed, one may begin thus genuinely to 
serve while struggling to get on one's feet out 
of quagmires of inheritance which seem over- 

The spiritual life is a progress, not a leap. 
What one claims who adopts Christ as guide, in 
preference to sciences and methods which ap- 
proach man from the outside, is that the wisdom 
which proves itself by its works here and now 
can be carried on to the perfect demonstration. 

Our young man had all the obstacles he 
could contend with during years when people 
were not ready for the truth he saw. But these 

The Power of the Spirit 11 

were given him, let us say, not to make light of, 
not to run away from, but to face, to call out his 
courage and his faith, that he might learn the 
law of Christ, live by it and help others to live 
by it. His spirit could not have begun to be 
supreme save through obstacles in the flesh and 
his environment over which to become triumph- 
ant. The turning-point came with him when he 
realized that infinite resources of divine love and 
wisdom were ready at hand within him. 

What we need to do, therefore, to realize the 
power of the Spirit in the Christ-consciousness 
is to discern the elements or principles which are 
active in this triumph. For we have to do with 
a more enlightened idea of the human spirit, a 
different view of health extending into the spirit- 
ual life in its fulness, and an interpretation of 
healing adapted to the deepest problems of the 

We are apt to think when we believe rightly 
that the rest will follow, as zealous Christians 
have thought all through the ages, with their 
doctrine of "faith alone." We are apt to think 
that it is sufficient to see near-by causes of our 
unhappiness, and make some slight change. But 
a spiritual interpretation of life calls upon us 
to trace matters to the end, not stopping with 
merely remedial activities. 

The finding of the way back to health is 

12 Spiritual Health and Healing 

secondary to the discovery of the kind of life 
we might have lived had we always kept close 
to God, had we drawn upon divine resources, 
practised divine wisdom, manifested divine love, 
outwardly as well as inwardly in spiritual health. 
The power of the spirit to keep the way, to live 
by the truth, attain the life, is a greater con- 
sideration than the power to regain the way 
when we have missed it. For Christ is affirma- 
tive in us. The Christ is the true science of 
right living, and only indirectly the corrective 
of our errors. We are bidden to judge by the 
ideal, the normal, and to expand our life to its 
full proportions. We are bidden to find the 
kingdom which is within and to live by its law. 
This the power of the Spirit is able to accom- 
plish through us. This gives the impetus which 
makes daily life a joy in the presence of our 
friends and our God. 



Despite the impressiveness of such a transi- 
tion in the spiritual life as the one we have con- 
sidered in the foregoing, onlookers have not as 
yet been persuaded to follow as far as one could 
wish. The reasons for this conservatism are 
worth noting before we turn to a restatement of 
the central principles. 

To the average observer this new interest has 
meant little more than discovery of the power 
of thought and the hitherto concealed functions 
of the subconscious mind. We have all heard 
about suggestion by this time and have learned 
to make use of it in dealing with our fellow men. 
We know about the subconscious mind, and we 
take it into account when explaining experiences 
once attributed to mysterious forces outside the 
human personality. Whatever may be thought 
about mental healing as a specific for all ill- 
nesses, w r e all acknowledge that our power over 
life has increased by the addition of this new 
interest. Here, however, the matter often ends, 
and the therapeutic movement is regarded as 
one more new cult assigned to its proper place. 


14 Spiritual Health and Healing 

The advocates of mental healing have been 
partly responsible for this. For much has been 
said and written about the utility of thought 
as a more direct way of securing success, as if 
success in material things were the chief end of 
life. Hence there has been a tendency to con- 
centrate upon the psychology of success. The 
new interest could hardly mean more than this 
to people who had no genuine desire to alter 
their mode of life, who wanted to find a quicker 
way of being relieved of their ills while retain- 
ing most of their pleasures, habits and social 

Then, too, there has been a tendency to regard 
the new spiritual science as a kind of absolutism 
admitting of no appeal. To make this claim in 
behalf of the authority of a text-book is of 
course to miss the whole point, that each soul 
has power to draw upon immanent divine 
sources according to need. Thus people have 
turned aside in favor of an organization which 
might have pressed forward to the new revela- 
tion of Christianity. 

In all movements this is likely to be the case 
for a time. Only a few adopt a new master's 
teaching with adequate seriousness. We have 
had leaders and visions enough in the history 
of our race to make us children of light. What 
the majority want is to be free from pain and 

The Priceless Possession 15 

misery due to their excesses, that they may be 
a little more prudent, and retain their old life 
as fully as possible. Consequently, when any 
one comes forward with assurance that we can 
become unselfish friends of man and worthy sons 
of God we turn away as did the rich young man, 
mindful of our luxuries. Creatures of habit, 
imitative, conservative and envious, we refuse to 
adopt a plan of action which will reach to the 
uttermost confines of our social kingdom and 
summon us to be noblemen of the Spirit. 

The simple truth is that all our illnesses, 
woes and vices are intimately related, and that 
really to be rid of one is to overcome all. It 
is not a question of gaining enough insight into 
the power of the human spirit to overcome a 
few maladies, and then disregard material things 
and laws as if they did not exist. The power 
of the spirit is not a half-way measure. It is 
not disclosed that we may do as we like. The 
real test of our spiritual faith is given us when 
we carry the spiritual life into every sphere of 
our natural and social interests. The power of 
our human spirit was given us to live by the 
Spirit. This Spirit has become manifest in this 
splendid world of space and time, objective in 
bodies and things, and the Spirit's manifesta- 
tions are not to be ignored. 

Life is surrounded by conditions intended to 

16 Spiritual Health and Healing 

call the human spirit into power. Our souls 
need to be tested to the full, and the tests are 
distributed along the line of life that we may 
meet them one by one, through divine guidance, 
and gradually grow into supremacy. The con- 
ditions we face and must conquer are from the 
self-same Spirit which gives us power to be- 
come victors. But these conditions seen in the 
divine light prove to be friendly. Life is indeed 
friendly through and through. There is no off- 
setting Power whose forces we must conquer in 
order to live the spiritual life. In our ignor- 
ance we have mistaken friends for foes, and 
acted toward nature as if matter were the prod- 
uct of some alien Energy striving to circum- 
vent us, instead of a vehicle for the manifesta- 
tion of Spirit. This is the whole problem of 
life as the new therapeutism regards it: to con- 
vert apparent enemies to friends and learn to 
live with nature in our well-ordered bodies as 
true children of Spirit. 

The pioneers in this field were no more fa- 
vored than other mortals. They had to work 
their way along year by year and prove the 
spiritual law for themselves. They did not come 
by their exceptional wisdom through "revela- 
tion." Indeed the word revelation is illusory if 
we mean wisdom put into our minds apart from 
the spiritual growth which discloses and proves 

The Priceless Possession 17 

it. Human experience as a whole is a revelation 
to him who has eyes. Christianity came as the 
culminating clue to this experience which we all 
know. Its newness consisted not so much in its 
ideas as in the transfiguring life and works of 
the Master through whose service for humanity 
God became manifest in fulness. 

We may say in brief that the one great 
reason why the world has not whole-heartedly 
adopted this new version of Christianity is found 
in the fact that this preliminary period was 
needed to bring us back to the Gospel. The 
pioneers cleared the way. They planted the 
new seed. Its fruitage was judged by appear- 
ances. Now we are learning that what seemed 
to be a mental device for winning people was 
in reality a call "to live the life." The requisite 
change of thought from the old order to the new 
was only a beginning. The psychology of suc- 
cess was merely an aspect of spiritual truths 
including the whole of life. Behind it all there 
was a priceless possession which the few caught 
sight of and have been cherishing. What was 
that priceless possession? Can we put it into 

It was the truth of the Inward Presence once 
more made known to men. It was the redis- 
covery, made ever and again in human history, 
that there is in man a God-sense or power of 

18 Spiritual Health and Healing 

direct communion with heavenly realities, such 
that experience is the test and verification of all 
spiritual wisdom. In a practical way this means 
that any man at any time, whatever his need, 
may lift his problem into heavenly light and 
see it transfigured by the guidance he needs. It 
means further that this light may be admitted 
into our whole nature, that there is guidance for 
every need whatsoever. And the application of 
this guidance to healing was the special phase 
which this wisdom brought us at first, because 
this truth needed to be restored to the world. 
This truth brought back, it became possible to 
regard the Gospel in its fulness anew. Thus 
the way to "live the life" again opened before 
men as they had not seen it for ages. 

The experience of the first pioneer in this re- 
discovery shows that any one might make the 
same discovery — guided by the Spirit. For the 
heavenly light is always shining. What was 
needed to bring men to knowledge of it through 
quest for healing was a method of meditation 
or silent realization. This method was acquired 
by our pioneers through the prior discovery 
that man has inner senses or intuitive power 
enabling him to discern spiritual reality. All 
men have evidences of such inward power, but 
only a few put the evidences together to see 
that our spiritual nature is adapted for manifold 

The Priceless Possession 19 

use when we need power in any field. What is 
needed is an experience sufficiently absorbing 
so that we will follow it through and find the 
Spirit within the human spirit, the Lord of life 
presiding over our human life. 

Many of us arrive naturally enough at the 
point where prayer spontaneously takes expres- 
sion on our lips, and we realize that the power 
of prayer has never reached its limits with us. 
There are many believers in the inward light as 
the direct witness of the Spirit, the true reason 
for worship. Every earnest Christian has some 
experience of inward piety akin to divine love. 
We all believe that "the pure in heart" shall 
see God. But there is a further step which 
seems almost as new, as if no one had the habit 
of prayer, none believed in the inward light or 
purity of heart. This step is into knowledge of 
the Inward Presence as power. It shows one 
how to enter into quickening Life through vivid 
realization of the love and the wisdom that are 
ours. It shows the way to a dynamic experi- 
ence passing beyond mere meditation or wor- 
ship. Realization is more detailed than prayer 
as most men know prayer. It enlists ideals 
made vivid and held before the mind. It is 
concerned with specific needs, with the convic- 
tion that the life made concrete through con- 
centration will begin at once to take effect. 

20 Spiritual Health and Healing 

Such realization becomes possible when the mind 
gives itself to the belief that our human spirit 
is rightfully an instrument of God, heir to di- 
vine wisdom, an immediate participant in the 
Inward Presence. 

Such realization also differs from prayer be- 
cause it implies an experienced contrast between 
the inner mind and the outer, between one plane 
of consciousness and another. We are all fam- 
iliar with the contrast between the two voices 
or natures. Many of us know what it is to feel 
free or to feel conditioned. We know that there 
is a difference between an ideal and a mere 
process. In a way each of us has his two worlds 
of thought. But we have not all learned to 
bring these ideas together so that our inner 
world is a meeting-point between the spirit and 
a higher activity which can be utilized when 
there is need. We have not learned to break 
away from externalizing consciousness at will. 
We have no definite idea what the activity is 
within us which makes the change. We have 
not learned to be alone with God's ideal. 

It is fairly easy to acquire merely psycho- 
logical knowledge of this contrast. Some effort 
is required to pass beyond all mental devices, 
penetrating behind all mental appearances to 
spiritual reality. The priceless possession is in- 
timacy of relation through spiritual experience 

The Pkiceless Possession 21 

in which the Inward Presence becomes an im- 
mediate source of guidance and power. This 
experience means more than the coming of a 
vision or mystical ecstasy which the participant 
neither understands nor is able to recover. It 
may be the same in kind as the better sort of 
mystical experience, while calling for a much 
more intelligible interpretation. 

This experience of the Inward Presence is re- 
coverable through understanding of the condi- 
tions. Such understanding is accessible to every 
one who is willing to entertain the idea of im- 
mediate experience of the presence of God in 
contrast with the tradition in the churches that 
only through zealously guarded authority can 
man approach God. It becomes possible when 
we take seriously the idea that man is spirit and 
is recipient of Life ready to make him in fulness 
a child of God in image and likeness. 

This inward quest might lead to self-centered- 
ness if it were not for the experienced contrast 
between the inner mind and the outer. To 
enter more deeply into one's mere self is not to 
find the inner mind at all. The priceless pos- 
session is awareness of the Inward Presence by 
being in the sanctuary of the Spirit where a 
higher light is shining. The kingdom is "at 
hand/' it is "within," it comes "without obser- 
vation," bearing its own evidences, summoning 

22 Spiritual Health and Healing 

man to seek it first and last. The particular 
self making the quest is secondary. The essen- 
tial is the great gift made to the self seeking 
the Presence in all sincerity and devotion. 

According to the old order of thought life 
was a warfare. Hence the Gospel was put in 
negative form. It seemed necessary to begin 
by condemning and resisting, as if one were 
struggling with an alien Power. In the new 
order we find that a different attitude trans- 
forms the same forces once deemed hostile. The 
alleged enemy disappears in the divine light 
shining from above. There is only friendliness 
and peace, with a Life ever present that is work- 
ing for health and freedom. Even the world 
seems to have faded for the moment. To have 
the world given back is to have it bestowed as 
God's world. 

To rise to the level of this higher light is to 
find oneself in a measure a spokesman of the 
Spirit speaking to the spirit in other men. 
Such speech is given us through pure disinter- 
estedness, when love touches the heart and the 
human self interposes no obstacle. That is why 
one may venture to call this the voice of the 
living Christ, the healing Christ summoning 
others to come into the same communion with 
the Father. Not until the self thus becomes 
an instrument have we seen what the universal 

The Priceless Possession 23 

reign of the Gospel on earth might be. It is 
we who have been chosen, not that we attained 
the end by mere self -consciousness. Our part is 
to prepare the way as best we can for this con- 
secration, with the hope that we may be chosen 
disciples of the living Lord. 

The central principle is that there is but one 
Wisdom and all spiritual truth comes from this 
source, that there is guidance for each need, a 
wisdom which sees the state of the soul as it 
truly is. Our part is to lift the Spirit to the 
level of that Wisdom, that its guidance may 
become our light on the path, its leading the 
one we follow through every vicissitude. Other- 
wise put, there is one Love and all genuine 
devotion on our part is a sharing of its com- 
passion, its tenderness and power to do good. 
There is love for each heart. Love is the great 
healing power, touching the soul, quickening, 
opening, stirring into strength, and making the 
soul a radiating centre. 

No words can adequately tell what knowledge 
of this priceless possession means for the in- 
dividual. He who would gain it must first en- 
tertain the idea of such unison with Life, then 
see what leadings come, what there is in the 
self and in daily life to impede. It is not the 
idea but experience itself which gives the reality, 
when there is a need which opens the spirit to 

24 Spiritual Health and Healing 

seek and find, to receive and give. What the 
printed word may do is to suggest the way. 
There is no formula that will unlock the inner 
secrets. The way of the heart is more interior. 
But affirmation will help us toward purity of 
heart and the guidance which leads into "the 
way." If we had kept the open vision the 
way would immediately disclose itself. Experi- 
ence is given us that we may regain this vision, 
learning anew to see things as they are, as the 
Spirit illuminates them. 

There are moments when the Spirit seems to 
possess us, to imbue us with power and cast 
over our being its soft radiance. Cherishing 
these beatific moments when they come, never 
trying to control them, we find that the way is 
disclosed to the next experience. That way 
followed, the succeeding moments will appear, 
and all experience will seem in truth a divine 
revelation. Outward life as it unfolds from 
moment to moment will then assume its proper 
place as means of expression and means of test- 
ing what the Spirit has disclosed. It is every- 
thing to know that the real work is that of the 
Spirit in us, whatever part man appears to 
play. The human spirit is akin to the divine 
and can conform to the Spirit's leadings. It 
is also within man's power to be led into free- 
dom in detail and at large, out of every anxiety, 

The Priceless Possession 25 

fear, friction, inertia, rebellion, or whatever the 
state may be that impedes. Spirit is ready to 
set us free when we say the word. 

To see what this priceless possession means 
for those who believe in spiritual healing as a 
consequence of the spiritual life, we need to re- 
consider the Gospel in the light of the distinc- 
tion widely accepted among disciples of this 
method, the distinction between Jesus and the 
Christ. This distinction meant everything to 
the pioneers, since the whole method of healing 
turned upon recognition of "the Christ within." 
The contrast grew up around the idea of the 
inner self as immediately open to the Inward 
Presence which experience itself revealed. It 
was not a theoretical contrast. It is not 
meant to be a basis for theology or for creeds. 
Consequently one is asked to set doctrinal mat- 
ters aside for the time being and turn to the 
Gospels with this clue from inner experience. 
There need be no loss in so doing, for a person 
may freely return to the idea of the Lord which 
has proved its value in the spiritual life. One 
is simply asked to follow where the living Christ 
may lead today, that the glorious message of the 
Comforter may be fully given to men. Those 
who have caught the new vision believe they 
have a priceless possession because they find it 
disclosing love, wisdom and power unknown 

26 Spiritual Health and Healing 

even to those who accept the Gospel in full as 
a historical and doctrinal message, as the foun- 
dation of the Church. For they have caught a 
vision of the Church Universal over and above 
all sects and creeds. And in catching this vision 
they have found the test of its reality in "the 



"And many other signs truly did Jesus in the 
presence of his disciples, which are not written 
in this book. But these are written, that ye 
might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son 
of God; and that believing ye might have life 
through his name." — John xx, 30, 31. 

Two sharply contrasted views concerning 
Christ have prevailed, the one that Jesus was 
the unique Son of God from eternity, wholly 
perfect and entirely divine; the other that he as 
a man attained the wisdom and power indicated 
in the Gospels as any one might strive to real- 
ize a spiritual ideal. The one errs by over- 
emphasis on the divine, leaves no room for temp- 
tations and victories as we know them. The other 
assigns such importance to the human self that 
it fails to account for the universal wisdom and 
the far-reaching love of the Christ. Nor is the 
situation improved when we try to adopt one of 
those elusive midway positions which stand, now 
for the divine, and now for the human, but 
which afford no clear idea of the divine as mani- 


28 Spiritual Health and Healing 

fested in the human according to a universal 
ideal. We seem to be imposing our own limita- 
tions on the Christ when we conceive of the 
wisdom and love displayed by Jesus as results 
of merely finite endeavor. What we need is an 
approach which does not intrude upon the in- 
finite but yields the conviction that through the 
incarnation the divine love and wisdom dwelt 
with men in a human self not too far removed 
from the imperfections which we know. 

We may begin by regarding the Christ as 
universal divine love and wisdom, taking our 
clue from the Gospels as they read. Such a 
reading of the Gospels is possible if we deem the 
recorded words parts only of the eternal Word 
of God, written in the hearts and minds of men 
throughout the ages. If the Christ is universal, 
surely no statement in any book can limit this 
wisdom so that there shall be nothing more to 

Anyone reading the Gospels without theo- 
logical predispositions must admit that there is 
a prevailing contrast between passages which 
pertain to the historical Jesus and those that 
imply special claims in his behalf as Messiah, 
Christ, the Lord. By the term "the Christ" 
we shall here mean Messiahship or Christhood, 
however it may be interpreted. If Jesus were 
"merely human," as some say, the special claims 

The Christ 29 

would seem preposterous indeed. If these claims 
bespeak the Christ or universal divine love and 
wisdom, they involve the conviction that God 
has a universal way of making Himself known 
to men. 

The difficulty usually encountered rests on the 
fact that Jesus speaks sometimes as man strug- 
gling to be faithful, and sometimes as love or 
wisdom implying all faith and all triumphs. 
Distinguishing between the personality and the 
love or wisdom for the moment, we may con- 
sider those passages which would be almost 
devoid of meaning unless we should think of 
the Christ as universal. Note how numerous 
are those passages which look beyond the man 
who speaks to the universal principle which he 

"He that loveth father or mother more than 
me is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son 
or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 
And he that doth not take up his cross and fol- 
low after me, is not worthy of me. He that 
findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth 
his life for my sake shall find it" (Matt, x, 
37-39). "He that receiveth you receiveth me, 
and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent 
me" (x, 40). "Come unto me, all ye that labor 
and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for 

30 Spiritual Health and Healing 

I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall 
find rest unto your souls" (xi, 28, 29). The 
wisdom thus speaking is declared to be greater 
than the temple, greater than Solomon or 
Jonah, and "Lord of the Sabbath." This wis* 
dom was prior to the historical incarnation, it 
is one with the Father in the works and teach- 
ings recorded in the Gospels, and is able to be 
with the disciples always, "even unto the end of 
the world." 

The Gospel of John from first to last ex- 
presses this universal wisdom in such a way that 
it can hardly be identified with or limited to a 
personality in a certain time or place. It is 
first associated with the Word, then with the 
Light both in the sense of the enlightenment 
of every man born into the world and also in 
the sense of life. Then follow passages in which 
the Christ is brought before us as "the living 
water" which quenches the thirst of men, as the 
bread of life which shall appease all hunger 
even unto the life eternal, as the flesh and blood 
which symbolize the immortal spirit, the divine 
plenitude, and other passages which have no 
meaning unless understood universally. The 
Christ as thus brought vividly before us in the 
greatest incidents recorded in the Gospels is 
indeed the universal Giver of life, the way, the 
truth, the surpassing power, triumphing over 

The Christ 31 

death, over space and time, over all limitations 
or conditions. 

"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread 
of life: he that cometh unto me shall never 
hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never 
thirst. . . . This is the bread that cometh down 
from heaven. ... I am come that they might 
have life, and that they might have it more 
abundantly. ... I am the resurrection and the 
life: he that believeth in me, though he were 
dead, yet shall he live. . . . And I, if I be 
lifted up from the earth will draw all men unto 
me. ... I am the way, the truth, and the life: 
no man cometh unto the Father but by me." 

Then follow still more intimate passages in 
which Jesus, while speaking in part as a per- 
son, utters statements which could be true only 
of a universal spirit or principle. Thus we have 
the figure of the vine as the symbol of all effec- 
tive life in the Spirit, all true discipleship and 
service. The Christ is here a principle such 
that it can abide in all who are faithful to the 
precepts and the love set before the disciples as 
an ideal. It is not alone the spirit manifested 
in Jesus in his fidelity to the Father, but one 
capable of extension such that others shall re- 
ceive it and abide in it. The self that speaks is 
not limited to the man of flesh and blood. 

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the 

32 Spiritual Health and Healing 

husbandman. . . . Abide in me, and I in you, 
... I am the vine, ye are the branches. . . . 
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, 
ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done 
unto you. . . . Herein is my Father glorified, 
that ye bear much fruit. . . . As the Father 
hath loved me, so I love you: continue ye in 
my love." 

Even this the infinitely tender thought of the 
love which is symbolized by the vine is sur- 
passed in the great prayer of the seventeenth 
chapter. For here Jesus is speaking to the dis- 
ciples in statements addressed to the Father 
expressive of a oneness which is not the one- 
ness of identity, nor that of two beings whose 
association is unique; but the spiritual relation- 
ship which may become true of all. 

"Neither pray I for these alone, but for them 
also that shall believe on me through their word ; 
that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art 
in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one 
in us; that the world may believe that thou hast 
sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me 
I have given them: that they may be one, even 
as we are; I in them, and thou in me, that they 
may be perfected into one." The "I" or being 
who here speaks also says, "for thou lovedst me 
before the foundation of the world." It is not 
a temporal self or merely historical being who 

The Christ 33 

speaks* A spirit or life is here expressed which 
can bring all men together who receive spirit- 
ual life as Jesus speaks of his oneness with the 
Father. This passage carries our thought back 
to that of the apparently unqualified statement 
of Chapter X in which Jesus says, "I and my 
Father are one." 

This saying is often taken to mean the ab- 
solute identity of the historical person Jesus 
with the Father, and it is put with the passage 
in Chapter XIV in which Jesus says, "He that 
hath seen me hath seen the Father," with the 
understanding that the two are absolutely one. 
But this passage in Chapter X is followed by 
the explanatory statement, ". . . the Father is 
in me, and I in him." In the sense of this sur- 
passing truth Jesus now prays that all may be 
one, "as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, 
that they also may be one in us." Plainly the 
oneness refers to unity of spirit in universal wis- 
dom. We are to understand the figure of the 
vine and the branches as a symbol implying in- 
effable nearness which no words can express but 
which the heart knows; not as an exact theo- 
logical statement involving absolute identity of 

Christ then is a unifying spirit or life which 
brings men into the most intimate relationship 
with the divine love, the relationship of Father 

34 Spiritual Health and Healing 

to son, Master to disciple, disciple to disciple 
as brother with brother, and thus ever on and 
on as far as this love shall be preserved in its 
purity. This supreme relationship brings to 
completion the promises of the preceding chap- 
ters in which the Christ is symbolized as the 
door, the light, the truth, the way, and the life, 
each one being universal. These characteristics 
are never mentioned in an exclusive sense, but 
always with reference to the power going forth, 
the bond of union, the guiding wisdom. We 
are not led into a confined and narrow world 
when Jesus assures us that no man comes to the 
Father save through him, for he is speaking of 
the universal way, truth, and life, the way of the 
Christ. "All things are delivered unto me of 
my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but 
the Father; neither knoweth any man the 
Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever 
the Son will reveal him" (Matt, xi, 27). The 
power speaking is at once the bread, the blood, 
the resurrection, the life, the light, the way, and 
the truth. Each of these is universal, and only 
through the Christ may they be understood. 
Each of these is given that men may have life 
more abundantly. "I am the resurrection and 
the life . . . because I live ye shall live also." 
All men thus knowing and living by the Christ 
will be quickened. 

The Christ 35 

Again, we note the clearness of vision and 
surety of knowledge with which Jesus performs 
works of healing and other * mighty works." 
These are plainly not the works of one who per- 
forms miracles or mysteries, as if by special 
privilege and by the aid of concealed powers. 
He who performs these works proceeds as one 
who knows precisely what he is doing and why, 
who grasps the implied laws and understands the 
forces employed. They are works given by the 
Father for the Master to do, as bearing witness 
that the Father has sent the Son (John v, 36). 
Thus they have intelligible meaning, and the 
disciples, if unable fully to understand, are bid- 
den to believe "for the very works' sake." The 
efficient principle is not only stated, namely, 
that the Father dwelling in the Master does the 
works; but assurance is given that those who 
believe shall perform such works also. The 
disciples had already been sent forth to perform 
similar works, with explicit instructions con- 
cerning this form of spiritual service. 

It might confidently be said therefore that 
the works were wrought according to a spiritual 
science, so that Jesus could foretell the accom- 
plishing of greater works when this science 
should be more extensively applied. That is, 
these works were wrought out in the open, in 
the light of divine truth universal in scope and 

36 Spiritual Health and Healing 

meaning, for the purpose of making that truth 
known which brings spiritual freedom and estab- 
lishes the kingdom of God in the minds and 
hearts of men. Hence Jesus said to critics who 
sought to turn the matter aside from the main 
principle, "But if I by the spirit of God cast out 
devils, then is the kingdom of God come upon 
you" (Matt.xii,28). 

Furthermore, the extent of the principle is 
shown by the fact that these works involve the 
overcoming of all the adversities to which the 
flesh is subject in man's ignorance of the power 
of the spirit. The carrying out of the principle 
involves the mastery of diseases of all kinds, the 
casting out of obsessions, and the overcoming of 
death as death is understood by those who know 
not the power of the spirit. The emphasis is 
everywhere put on the life or spirit which over- 
comes, just as in the case of the crucifixion and 
resurrection the emphasis belongs on the trium- 
phant life which the Master lived. There is a fun- 
damental difference between occult power which 
an adept might acquire and display through 
magic, and a universal spiritual science implying 
divine laws capable of being understood through 
interior enlightenment. The first calls for special 
training in arts which man has acquired, arts 
which even the unprincipled might employ; the 

The Christ 37 

second calls for a consecrated life into which man 
is guided by divine light in his soul. 

The same fidelity to a principle over and 
above special privileges is shown in passages in 
which Jesus, refusing to allow any credit to be 
given, invariably refers to works given him to do, 
words given him to speak, light to be made mani- 
fest, truth that will bestow freedom. No words 
could be more emphatic than the utterances of 
Jesus in this connection. "And he said unto 
him, Why callest thou me good? there is none 
good but one, that is, God" (Matt, xix, 17) • 
"The Son can do nothing of himself, but what 
he seeth the Father do ... I can of mine own 
self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my 
judgment is just; because I seek not mine own 
will, but the will of the Father who hath sent 
me. ... If I bear witness of myself, my wit- 
ness is not true. . . . There is another that 
beareth witness of me. ... I am come in my 
Father's name. . . . My doctrine is not mine, 
but his that sent me. ... I do nothing of my- 
self; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak 
these things." 

These are not the words of one who takes 
credit unto himself. When Jesus says, "Before 
Abraham was, I am;" "Search the scriptures 
. . . they are they which testify of me ;" "Come 
unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden," 

38 Spiritual Health and Healing 

he is plainly not calling the weary and distressed 
to him as a man only. Jesus teaches from first 
to last that all wisdom, life and power have a 
single source. It is the Father who gives accord- 
ing to our needs, who guides us along life's path- 
way, who sustains, provides, bestows life and 
light. All the words of wisdom proceed from 
Him. The works of healing are His. It is His 
mission that saves, quickens and establishes the 
kingdom. The divine plan of this mission ante- 
dates Abraham. Jesus fulfils it step by step, 
that all things may be accomplished according to 
divine law, that the human may not intrude. 
Hence he is able to say without qualification that 
he is faithful in word and deed to the Father's 
will. He knows that the Father's love and wis- 
dom are so disclosed that the disciples actually 
hear and see the Father in the Son: " . . . and 
the word which ye hear is not mine, but the 
Father's who sent me." "He that hath seen me, 
hath seen the Father. . . . The Father and I 
are one." It is these statements which disclose 
to us the Christ, which show that a universal 
wisdom and love were made manifest in Jesus. 

We may state the universal principle as fol- 
lows: There is one right attitude toward the 
Father, whose wisdom and love constitute the 
real efficiency in the minds and hearts of men, 
namely, that we should seek first the purpose 

The Christ 39 

or forward movement of the divine life in process 
through us, adopting this the divine trend of life 
as our own, serving and living with the realiza- 
tion that it is the Father who accomplishes in 
each of us the work He would have us do. Jesus 
is the living representative who not only teaches 
but proves this Christ-wisdom which he came 
to bring to men. As exemplifier of the Gospel 
he turns attention away from himself. We must 
"see the Christ stand/' saying with John the 
Baptist, "Behold the Lamb of God." We should 
discern the universality of the way, the truth, 
and the life. The Christ-wisdom is in a sense 
separable and capable of being taught by itself. 
Having discerned this universal principle, we 
are ready to consider the selfhood of God as 
Father on the one side and the personality of 
Jesus in the historic sense on the other. 

The practical consequences are plain. We 
have before us a universal spiritual science in- 
volving "the way, the truth, and the life." We 
know its source, the universality of its provisions, 
and of the guidances accessible to each. We 
know that no man alone can save his fellow men, 
that the true Saviour is God the Father, is the 
Christ. This wisdom is in a sense over and above 
each one of us as a person, inasmuch as we may 
all abide in the divine love as branches of the true 
vine. Hence it includes not only all men as sons 

40 Spiritual Health and Healing 

of God, but the Father too; it is the abiding 
relationship throughout all eternity. 

We may then say unqualifiedly that Christ is 
divine; not merely "the anointed one," or the 
enlightened one, but enlightenment itself. Hence 
we see the value and meaning of impersonal 
forms of expression, such as the spirit of truth, 
the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. This is the 
universal element foreseen in the Scriptures as 
a whole. All spiritual history points forward 
to it. It is discoverable, at any time when men 
receive the essential enlightenment. It speaks 
as it were to all men, in all time, this central 
word of appeal reaching beyond all historical 
events: "Behold, I stand at the door and 
knock." "No man cometh unto the Father but 
by me." "Neither doth any know the Father 
save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son 
willeth to reveal him." "I am the door: by me 
if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall 
go in and out and find pasture." 



"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth 
shall make you free. ... If the Son . . . shall 
make you free, ye shall be free indeed." — John 
viii, 32, 36. 

What is the Christ or universal wisdom 
taught by the Master in the Gospels, and how 
does it differ from other sciences? It is a higher 
science pertaining to the inner life of man as 
part of the whole mission of Jesus in making 
known the kingdom of God on earth. It does 
not start with the discovery and observation of 
external facts, then work up to knowledge of 
natural laws through inference and criticism, 
as we proceed when fostering such a science as 
physics or biology; it begins with a certain ap- 
peal to the heart of man in behalf of an invisible 
realm of being in which he has his real existence. 
The test of its power or truth is not in its mere 
law or rational consistency, in the ability of man 
to think it out to the end and defend it against 
all objections; but in its application to human 
needs, through the works accomplished by it. 
Hence its first appeal is to the individual to live 


42 Spiritual Health and Healing 

by it, see its truth for himself, become free him- 
self, that he may be quickened to carry the liber- 
ating message to others. It is the divine wisdom 
descending into the human spirit and proving it- 
self practical, workable, concrete; then working 
out into social life and the physical organism, 
that it may be shown in all its completeness or 
objectivity. This divine science therefore proves 
itself by taking shape in the concrete deeds of 
men, the word made flesh in thought, in will and 
in life, when it becomes a fact; whereas the nat- 
ural sciences value facts first and only by labor- 
ious thinking arrive at universals. 

It might of course be said that from the first 
Jesus has the social aim in view, that his one 
great interest is brotherhood or service. But 
since it is the individual doing his true work who 
stands for the social ideal, we find Jesus every- 
where beginning with individual men and sum- 
moning them to a life of wholeness or all-round 
health. Jesus addresses individuals whose needs 
are typical, meanwhile setting forth principles 
which enable us to see what is the true panacea. 
The standard of health as we thus find it taught 
point by point involves three great essentials. 
First, there must be integrity within the self, 
oneness of purpose between head and heart, 
constancy in serving one master, with all that 
this unity implies by way of purity of motive, 

True Spiritual Science 43 

courage and persistence in pursuing the one 
ideal. This means loving the Father above all 
men and above the world, believing in the divine 
way of lif e with its provisions for daily welfare ; 
and carrying this faith into the little affairs 
which even more than the great contests of life 
show what we truly believe. In the second place, 
there should be love of the neighbor expressed 
in concrete service proving its truth and real- 
ity by deeds, with the love of Christ first in 
order, whatever may be the love for father, 
mother, brother; a losing of selfish or lesser 
nature to find the unselfish or greater. And, 
in the third place, there should be outward or 
physical health proving that a man lives by the 
Christ in fulness or integrity, instead of limit- 
ing his interests to a narrow field or a special 

In seeking these ends Jesus strikes at the root 
of every life not founded on this unity within 
the self. He singles out hypocrisy and self- 
righteousness as typical of the wrong mode of 
life in general. Why does he single out these 
two? Because they stand for appearances con- 
trary to man's real inner life. Until a man be- 
gins to display in outward conduct what he truly 
is within, as little as he may have actually at- 
tained, he is unable to begin the constructive life, 
there is war between forces within him, and he 

44 Spiritual Health and Healing 

slips back in one direction while striving to make 
headway in another. The hypocrite may, for 
example, pretend to be living a pure upright 
life as regards matters in the social world while 
seeking self -gratification in other ways usually 
thrown out of account. The self-righteous man 
may deem himself spiritual, therefore "saved," 
because he believes what Christ is said to teach 
concerning salvation by those who separate be- 
tween sin and the problems of health. But the 
Master combines and teaches that which follow- 
ers have separated. When he heals or forgives 
he uses essentially the same language: "Thy sins 
be forgiven thee," or, "Arise and walk." That 
is to say, disease, whatever its external conditions 
or occasions, arises from disordered life. There 
is no permanent cure save through purification 
within the life of every desire or activity, from 
lust to self - centredness in its most refined 
forms, which interferes with the free expression 
of the divine image of health. Sin, whatever the 
ostensible motives and social consequences, arises 
from disordered life. There is no salvation save 
through cleansing the entire "inside of the cup," 
including those conditions which make for dis- 
ease. To have sins "forgiven," or to be made 
whole of one's disease, is to begin to live in such 
a way that neither the germs of sin nor condi- 
tions that invite disease shall find fertile soil. 

True Spiritual Science 45 

The one is the other so far as the inner life is 
concerned. For the Master is not talking about 
symptoms, nor is he referring to the outward 
occasions of disease or the semblances of sin. He 
is speaking of causes, hence of the mode of life 
which shall cleanse man through and through. 
This has been a hard saying for the world. Men 
have wanted to believe with their lips for the sake 
of the soul's future welfare, while living as they 
liked in the world and attributing their illnesses 
and sorrows, their unhappiness and miseries to 
outward things not supposed to be important. 

We observe that Jesus does not apply his 
science by taking away the effects of sin or out- 
ward manifestations of disease, as if this sufficed 
to save the soul. He strikes at the root of the 
tree and bids his followers emulate him, despite 
all the pretenses of the hypocritical and self- 
righteous. We note, for example, that he seeks 
faith on the part of both individuals and groups, 
that he goes where faith prevails, commends 
men and women displaying faith, and tells what 
faith will accomplish. " According to your faith 
be it unto you," or "Thy faith hath made thee 
whole," is his general mode of expression. By 
faith he plainly means much more than intel- 
lectual acceptance, dependence on the divine 
providence or trust for the future. He calls for 
a mode of life in the living present which makes 

46 Spiritual Health and Healing 

for wholeness. Such faith is constructive, it im- 
plies the affirmative attitude with its emphasis 
on life and what life brings. To have faith is 
"to enter into life," and to enter into life is to 
turn each of those elements in our nature where- 
by we oppose the divine incoming life into 
elements of harmony and oneness. To have 
faith is to believe in the divine image and like- 
ness, and to do one's best to live by it in the little 
passing thoughts, the minor motives or senti- 
ments. True faith springs "out of the abun- 
dance of the heart," in openness of spirit. 

Again, we note that in applying this science 
Jesus seeks the needy, "the poor in spirit," the 
afflicted, the lost sheep; and that he readily as- 
sociates with publicans and sinners, sitting at 
meat with them, and meeting their needs as in- 
dividuals. "They that be whole need not a physi- 
cian, but they that are sick." This outreaching 
in behalf of those who most need help leads one 
to believe that the test of spiritual science is its 
ability to solve difficult questions, which the 
world gives up on the ground that man is selfish 
and sensuous, burdened with fleshly appetites. 
If we are not to draw any such circle about the 
difficult and sinful, it must follow that we are 
not to condemn the sinner as a human spirit; 
but to summon him to the same fulness of life 
which is everywhere the resource of the Gospel. 

True Spiritual Science 47 

Man's response to his physical appetites is in 
accordance with his affections or love. If he 
loves self first, he will seek those pleasures which 
spring from selfishness and his sins and the dis- 
eases springing from them will disclose self-love. 
To love others above self will be to seek those 
activities which express the true, full self 
through service. Thus everything depends in 
the last analysis on what man loves. Con- 
sequently Jesus addresses the affections and 
summons man to be his better, nobler self, "to 
go and sin no more," to take up his bed and 
walk, to be "every whit whole." 

In the third place, w T e note that in carrying 
out this spiritual science Jesus not only seeks 
faith and turns first and last to those most in 
need, but seeks disciples who will go forth and 
labor in the vineyard as he has labored by meet- 
ing the world where it is. Jesus gave the disciples 
"power against unclean spirits to cast them out, 
and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner 
of disease." The Christ does not merely bring 
the truth which sets them free, as if individual 
freedom were the goal of life. It does not simply 
teach men to pray, to preach, to discern the 
spirits of people, singling out those who are like 
houses divided against themselves; but quickens 
them with an efficient stirring love, and by 
making them "free indeed" inspires them to be 

48 Spiritual Health and Healing 

active agents for the Christ wisdom. The power 
bestowed upon the disciple is not the power 
which he attains by himself through the practice 
of meditation, concentration or inner control; it 
does not spring from silence or receptivity alone ; 
nor does it come through spiritual understand- 
ing apart by itself, as a product of study or the 
training of interior faculties. This power is like 
a gift, although universal in type — that is, a 
power bestowed by the Giver of life sending the 
disciple forth to give as freely as he has received. 
Almost paradoxically this science bids man 
begin with himself and yet do anything rather 
than start with himself as if he could merely by 
taking thought become a Christ. The great 
truth that in and of himself man is naught and 
can accomplish nothing is so great, so deep, and 
far-reaching, that he who sees it has every reason 
in the world to anticipate profound consequences 
in his experience. Naturally then a large part 
of the Gospel is devoted to telling man how to 
begin with himself. Having begun to forgive, 
to cast out the beams that are in his own eye, to 
overcome anxiety and fear, to "let the dead 
bury their dead," man may acquire true receptiv- 
ity. Having learned that both sin and sickness, 
so far as they spring from the life within him, 
have the same root, he would next ask, What 
then is my true self, when I am whole? If sick- 

True Spiritual Science 49 

ness be separateness, and sin be separateness, 
what part of me is not sick, what remains in- 
tact when I sin? This must be my inner self- 
hood or spirit, the child of God made in the 
divine image and likeness. I may say with con- 
fidence that my heavenly Father intended me to 
be sound and sane in all respects, and that in all 
my thinking and willing I should take this heaven- 
ly pattern as my standard, dwelling on the divine 
ideal. In my true self I am a child of light, a re- 
cipient of divine wisdom, open to divine love. 
This is the real source of health and of virtue. 
This source is within me, within every human 
soul, awaiting recognition and co-operation. 
The science of the Christ is above all the science 
of the true self. 

What shall we say concerning inherited and 
external conditions which do not correspond with 
inner reality? What shall we do about manifes- 
tations of disease and sin which men minister to 
in the world? Shall we combat them too? Not 
in the same way by any means, if we understand 
the method of Christ. That method has been 
misinterpreted throughout the ages. It has 
been taken to mean the practice of the nega- 
tive virtues, especially meekness, or non-resist- 
ance. But when we read the Gospels with open 
eyes, we find the Master taught a higher resist- 
ance, overcoming hate through loving our 

50 Spiritual Health and Healing 

enemies, returning good for what is termed evil, 
the expression of righteous judgments in place 
of condemnation, and the outdoing of so-called 
virtuous people by freely giving as we would 
have others give unto us in times of equal need. 
Hence denial of the self does not mean self-sacri- 
fice or the mortification of the flesh. The spirit 
indeed is willing while the flesh is weak, and 
there are manifold temptations to guard against. 
There are reasons for sacrifice on occasion. The 
great idea, however, is the conquering of the 
nature in us which inclines toward selfishness. 
The mastery of self is not by any means a nega- 
tive consideration. 

The Master does not turn into by-paths of 
endless discussion by contrasting the real with 
the unreal and developing a metaphysics 
founded on this contrast. He leaves this for 
those who care more for mere theory. Always 
he brings to man the condition, "If thou wilt 
enter into life," then do thus and so. The rest 
is death and need not be considered. His science 
turns upon truths which make for life. The 
way out of spiritual death is to have one Master, 
truth, or way ; and to pursue this ideal with entire 
consecration. If thou wilt not enter into life, 
then receive the consequences of allegiance to 
riches, the world, self. For there is action and 
reaction whereby each man draws to himself 

True Spiritual Science 51 

what he loves. It is because what man loves is 
more central than what he thinks that Jesus 
directs attention to two great types of love. 
Thus it is borne in upon us with great conviction 
that the science which Jesus taught is the science 
of love to God and man. 

It is hard for man to see that the way of the 
world is not the way of life, to see that intellectual 
rule may mean spiritual death, and that even 
when man has commanded all the forces of his 
natural environment which make for health he 
will not be truly sound and sane. Most men 
put the primary emphasis upon outward things, 
or if not they put it upon heredity, racial evil, 
human nature, or some other scapegoat. The 
Gospel bids man look to himself so decisively 
that he will never wish to turn his eyes anywhere 
else in the world. 

The critic objects to this position, however. 
In an ideal world man might conquer his spirit, 
so it is said; under other conditions he might 
be unselfish, or truly free and wholly sound. 
But as matters are now we are all bound up 
with one another in ills and tribulations which 
we never bargained for, the innocent suffer 
with the guilty, and the individual can do little 
save to look out for himself, taking a little 
pleasure as he goes. 

No, our science insists, it is not primarily a 

52 Spiritual Health and Healing 

question of heredity or environment, of handi- 
caps or social relationships into which we are 
born. It is a question of the great eternal truth 
that man is a spirit born to mastery through 
divine love and wisdom in whose image and 
likeness he exists. There is no heredity so power- 
ful as "our heredity from God." There is no 
environment equalling that of the divine re- 
sources more intimately at hand than any one 
knows. There is no condition so adverse that 
the spirit cannot begin forthwith to triumph 
over it. For the world exists for the sake of 
Spirit, the human spirit is clothed with a bodily 
organism as by a garment, and all things favor 
the man who lives by this great truth. We must 
start with the Spirit, think and live for the Christ, 
regarding the outward life as a sphere for the 
expression of spiritual things, if we would real- 
ize the full force of this science. 

This is spiritual rather than mental science, be- 
cause, having led the way to the inner life, it does 
not stop with mental attitudes, beliefs, anticipa- 
tions and suggestions ; but presses forward to the 
central statement that man's entire existence is 
involved, hence that if he would "enter into life" 
he must overcome everything in his nature that 
makes for selfishness with all its fruits in sins 
and illnesses. It is understood of course that 
as members of the human family .we are all inter- 

True Spiritual Science 53 

related, so that we suffer with one another. It 
is understood that true health is social, and true 
life is social. But instead of postponing until 
some future period the direct effort to change 
adverse social matters, the Gospel bids each man 
who would "enter into life" to begin to act, live, 
think and love today as a member of the spiritual 
order, starting first with the power of the spirit 
to conquer the flesh. 

We answer the question then, How does the 
spiritual science of Jesus differ from other 
sciences? by saying that it must be proved by 
each individual before he can prove it to another. 
In these four brief records called the Gospels are 
set down all the points needed to disclose the 
way to the perfect life for all who make effort 
to apply the Christ to the conditions at hand, 
shirking nothing, making no pretense, giving all 
to one Master. The way is narrow and strait, if 
you please, — and few are found entering upon it. 
So, too, the harvest is plenteous but the labor- 
ers few. In the case of those who turn aside 
there is a radical misunderstanding, namely, that 
one can obtain more happiness and greater free- 
dom by going some other way. This is in very 
truth the way of the fulness of life which we all 
love whether we admit it or not. Each of us has 
the power to make the effort. The forces flow- 
ing hitherward from the divine centre are all 

54 Spiritual Health and Healing 

tending that way. We were so constituted as 
to be able to walk in the way which the Master 
summoned us by setting the example. The 
true science of life is precisely this spiritual 
science of the Christ. There is no opposing 
power. The Gospel summons man to the perfect 
life. It summons him to freedom, health, hap- 
piness; therefore to fellowship with his brother 
man in this life of happiness, health and true 


At first thought it seems too great a claim on 
our part to endeavor to heal by the method of 
Christ. For was not Jesus master of life and 
death, direct giver of life to men? Were not the 
works of healing different in kind from those 
wrought today? We find the Master speaking 
"with authority," not as men, but uttering de- 
cisive words which brought immediate conse- 
quence as by a miracle. Why then should we 
presume to accomplish works of a kindred 

Yet if Jesus's works of healing were wrought 
according to a science, this science becomes our 
standard and we can do no less than try to be 
faithful as far as the divine light has led us on 
our way. The Master does indeed speak with 
authority. He utters the affirmative words, "Be 
thou made clean," "Go thy way; as thou hast 
believed, so be it unto thee," "Stretch forth thine 
hand." It is our privilege, however, to consider 
how the affirmative word reaches the heart and 
sets the sufferer free. Jesus everywhere appeals 


56 Spiritual Health and Healing 

to men to believe and follow. Attributing all the 
works of healing to the Father, he drew attention 
to those works as evidences of a principle which 
was known by its fruits. He promised other 
works to those believing on him, and taught that 
belief in him meant belief in God. Why should 
one do less than to take Jesus at his word, en- 
deavoring faithfully to understand? 

Comparison of the works of healing shows 
that Jesus proceeded according to a principle. 
Responding and appealing to faith, he healed 
when there was readiness to receive. This ap- 
pealing attitude was so strong and outreaching 
that the centurion responded with implicit faith 
in behalf of his servant, not then present; the 
leper declared with full conviction, "Lord, if 
thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." One suf- 
ferer merely begged the privilege of touching 
the hem of Jesus's garment. Then, too, the 
Master repeatedly declared that he came to per- 
form his works for "the lost sheep," he sent the 
disciples forth in quest of the lost and faithful, 
once more showing that works were to be wrought 
by a principle of intelligent response according 
to need. The disciples were not merely com- 
missioned with power for special purposes, as if 
their works were to end by the withdrawing of 
that power. They were taught by precept and 
example in line with the whole Gospel as "the 

The Christ Method 57 

way, the truth, and the life." These instructions 
lose all their force if we try to confine them by 
the supposition that they implied special priv- 

Again, we find the Master displaying what 
seems like special knowledge of the hearts and 
minds of people around him, also knowledge of 
suffering people at a distance. He not only 
knows the thoughts of critics who hesitate to ex- 
press their adverse sentiments, and the timid 
questionings of the disciples; but is able to tell 
the condition of the maid who was "not dead, 
but sleeping," and of Lazarus in successive stages 
of his sleep unto death. This discernment of the 
real in contrast with the apparent state was 
characteristic of his work among the sick as a 
whole. Surely this intuition was akin to that 
which we all possess in some degree, w^hich some 
have had in marked degree who have recovered 
the method of spiritual healing, and which may 
be recognized and cultivated by all who believe 
in "the Christ within." To aspire to heal in 
this way is to make ready for that discernment 
which reveals the spiritual states of men and 
women ready for such healing. 

Studying a given instance of healing, we note 
that Jesus took the clue from the affirmative 
attitude and its possibilities on the part of the 
sick or sorrowing. In the case of the man blind 

58 Spiritual Health and Healing 

from his birth, Jesus explained that it was not 
that this man had sinned or that his parents were 
sinners. What he emphasized was the positive 
consideration, that is, the work of God which was 
made manifest through healing. The anointing 
with clay was incidental to this. The man when 
restored was true to the Master's confidence in 
him, as he courageously met the scepticism of 
the multitude. Presently the man went further 
and began to plead for recognition of the power 
of God, since no sinner could have wrought so 
marvellous a thing. "If this man were not of 
God, he could do nothing." Then Jesus met this 
display of faith with a further expression of con- 
fidence: "Dost thou believe on the Son of God?" 
The man did indeed believe, and he entered into 
the joys of his faith through acceptance of the 
Messiah. If this experience is in any way typical, 
we may see in it a verification of the science 
which the Master was teaching the disciples. 
Doubtless others responded in the same way 
through adopting the affirmative attitude. 

The most touching incident, perhaps, is that 
of the woman taken in the act. Conventionally 
speaking there was every reason for condem- 
nation. The Christians of the world at large have 
taken much the same position as that of the self- 
righteous men who gloried in their discovery of 
the woman. It is still customary to condemn, 

The Christ Method 59 

and to uphold a double standard of morality, in- 
stead of trying to discern the heart of both men 
and women with open vision. It was contrary 
to all expectations that Jesus should quietly 
occupy himself with drawing a figure upon the 
ground, then bid each guiltless critic cast a stone 
at the poor creature. The world has scarcely 
begun to make trial as yet of that higher resist- 
ance which left the Master alone with the ac- 
cused — so persistently have we misunderstood 
what "non-resistance" means. 

Connection having been broken with those 
forces which would have swept the guilty woman 
to her condemnation and made her an outcast for 
life, the Master turned in far-sighted charity to 
the accused. Jesus was not there to condemn. 
He took no account of conventional standards, or 
social appearances, but, as in all other instances 
of which we have record, looked deeply into the 
heart. For it was a question of the continued 
life of this woman, not of her mere past. She 
was a human spirit and had all the rights which 
any soul in need can ever have to be regarded 
as an individual, not as a mere unit in a social 
group belonging to a given nation. As a human 
spirit endowed with affection, she was sum- 
moned by the Master to come out into the light 
of her nobler self, to go and live for that self, 
the connection being broken with her sin. She 

60 Spiritual Health and Healing 

was thus called toward the fulness of life be- 
cause it was possible for her to respond. May 
we read in this an expression of that method 
which is universal either in disease or sin? 

This faith in the human spirit did not mean 
neglect of actual circumstances under which the 
spirit meets experience. For on other occasions 
we find Jesus speaking plainly about dark spots 
in human society. He speaks of the good man 
and the evil man, according to the expressions 
they make of the life within. He refers to blind 
leaders of the blind, and warns his disciples re- 
garding various forms of deceit. Throughout 
his teaching he shows that our words condemn or 
justify us, that every idle word brings its effect; 
hence that no man escapes from impurity of 
thought by any theoretic device meant to conceal 
or minimize. The Master in fact says plainly 
that his teaching comes to cause dissension, as 
a sword brings pain. Not in any way could he be 
said to compromise with destructive forces. Yet 
all his judgments are constructive. He comes 
to find lost sheep and call them home to that king- 
dom of love which every man may enter who will 
turn about and adopt the affirmative attitude. 
He comes that men may have life and have it 
more abundantly. 

To be the Master's follower in the field of 
spiritual healing is to adopt as one's ideal this 

The Christ Method 61 

standard of spiritual health and see why people 
are held up to that standard. It would be im- 
possible to emulate the Master without trying to 
live the Christian life in fulness, taking up the 
cross, losing one's life to find it, going and selling 
whatever riches one may have that stand in the 
way of loving Christ. He who would lead men 
as little children must himself become like those 
the Master blessed. He who would teach others 
how to forgive should begin by forgiving if he 
have aught against anyone. In short, he who 
would guide his fellow men into life is bidden 
first to "enter into life" himself. But all this is 
understood when we are speaking of any phase 
of Christian service whatever. There is but one 

What we have so long failed to see is that 
the mode of life which the world has accepted as 
the ideal in a certain direction is the guide in all 
directions. That life, for example, is a life of 
giving, not "getting." It means acting unflinch- 
ingly by a higher principle, never resisting any 
force unfriendly to man on its own level but al- 
ways on the upper level, through love. Healing 
in accordance with the Christ is an instance of 
this law of giving. Christ is the Giver of life. 
What all men need in their spiritual illnesses is 
this Life that quickens the heart, frees the spirit 
from its bondages. What all men need, Christ 

62 Spiritual Health and Healing 

in the heart already knows. It is our human 
privilege to be a messenger of this gospel. If we 
have seen its truth in one sphere of human needs 
we realize that it applies equally to all. The 
world has not to any extent tried the principle of 
unstinted giving. So the world has not seen that 
this principle applies to healing. 

In his sins and illnesses man shuts himself into 
a narrow world. He thinks and wills, schemes 
and acts for himself chiefly, considering how he 
can attain his private ends, how he may gain 
subtle sway over people, using them for his own 
interests. When pain and suffering and the con- 
sequences of his self-love come upon him man 
enters more deeply into self, asks to be freed from 
the results as mere results without inquiry into 
causes. A creature of outward things and inter- 
ests for the time being, he expects to be set free 
by external forces. He professes to care nothing 
about what is spiritual. He simply wishes to go 
on with the game. 

To be gifted with the Christ-spirit even in 
small degree is to see what is the trouble with 
man. To be touched more deeply by that spirit 
is to be moved with compassion. For man has 
separated himself in heart from his Maker. He 
is acting as if apart, detached from spiritual re- 
lationship with his brothers. The pains he suf- 
fers are meant to lead him to consciousness of 

The Christ Method 63 

his real situation. They are not hostile, not alien 
forces warring upon him, but blessings in dis- 
guise. But he is in a negative attitude, opposing 
the Love that would bless him, struggling not to 
see the lessons of experience. There will be no 
freedom for him while he rebels. But the Christ- 
love comes to him to lift him out of his rebellion 
that he may see what he is doing, may will to be 
free. It comes to give him back to himself. 
Therefore the discernment it brings makes the 
eye single to the ideal, inspires a vision of the 
self as made in the image and likeness of God, 
created to be in health and freedom. 

The affirmative attitude on the part of the hu- 
man spirit puts the soul of one who would serve 
as healer in touch with this outpouring or giving 
of Life. In the affirmative attitude we believe 
to the utmost and look for the highest. In that 
attitude we see the best in another and hold firm- 
ly to it. The efficiency is always from the one 
Giver of life, but this life becomes most active 
through us when we open the spirit to receive 
and give it as if it were our own. The affirma- 
tive is at the same time the giving attitude. In 
this attitude there is no condemnation, no judg- 
ment, no effort to influence another to go one's 
own way. There is full giving of oneself in ser- 
vice, that whatever is best for another may be 
spoken and may be done. To give is never mere- 

64 Spiritual Health and Healing 

ly to use, to control or manage. To give is to be 
ready to be used, to let the divine wisdom have 
full expression, to withhold nothing of the divine 

Yet this unstinted giving of oneself that the 
spirit may be an unimpeded instrument of ex- 
pression for the healing Christ, is not at random 
or merely in general. It is the essence of the 
Christ to incarnate itself, to unite the Word with 
the flesh in definite and concrete form. This is 
why in the example given us in the Gospels the 
Christ is always seen in relation to the most in- 
timate needs of the individual, carrying purity 
into the thought, love into the heart, and a cor- 
responding purification into the bodily life. 
Every individual is sacred to the Christ. There 
is comfort for every sorrowing heart. No man 
or woman, however separate in consciousness 
from recognition of this great wisdom, is too in- 
significant or even too sinful to warrant refusal 
to give. The one condition is willingness, faith, 
openness of heart such that the healing love may 
enter in. 

Thus too every thought of ours, every mental 
ability to make our realization concrete, every 
prompting of the heart however slight may be 
dedicated to this divine service. There is every 
reason for asking for what we will "in the name 
of Christ," every reason for the prayer of the 

The Christ Method 65 

heart which believes that it will receive. "All 
things are yours" in that spirit. Now "we have 
the mind of Christ." We are renewed by that 
mind to utter the quickening word. And natur- 
ally in our prayers we will ask for more, since 
we now begin to realize at last something like 
the fulness of the promise, that other signs shall 
follow, that "greater works" will be done. 



"If man had lived the life of good, his inte- 
riors would be open to heaven, and through heav- 
en to the Lord ; thus also the smallest and invis- 
ible vessels would be open, and man would be 
without disease." This statement admits us into 
the heart of the matter as spiritual health is re- 
garded by one of our great seers. It tells us 
that man's rightful estate according to the divine 
purpose is one of health, happiness and freedom. 
There is an incoming life from our Creator tend- 
ing to keep us in perfect health. Disease is not 
an infliction sent down upon us, suffering is not 
a means of discipline bestowed by a stern will, 
as devotees of a former theology used to say. 
Spiritually speaking, it is normal to be well and 
strong, and if normal to be in excellent health 
it is right for man to be free and happy. All 
our thinking in the matter should start from this 
the divine ideal, not from the negative fact of 
man's illnesses and sorrows. It follows that true 
spiritual healing comes about through an endea- 
vor to return to our normal condition, that we 


Spiritual Health 67 

need give attention to disease and its causes only 
that we may learn how to remove obstructions 
which impede the inflow of the divine life, the 
life which makes for our health and freedom. 

To be prepared to see the force of this view of 
man's health we need to remind ourselves that 
real causes are spiritual, whatever else may also 
be true concerning life under natural conditions. 
Man is a spirit, and the source of his being is in 
God, in whom he lives, moves and has his being, 
from whom there comes the impetus to develop 
and achieve. The divine life enters his spirit 
from within, in "the heart" whence springs his 
inmost love and volition; and proceeds thence 
into his understanding, or the life of thought, and 
so on throughout his selfhood, into the physical 
organism. Openness of heart tends to illumina- 
tion of the understanding, and an illumined un- 
derstanding can express itself in a quickened 
brain, a harmonious nervous organism and 
physical system, if there be no hindrances not 
yet overcome. The centre of power is within the 
soul, in the first place, and the centre must be 
kept open and free if the currents of life shall 
have free opportunity to course through man's 
whole being. But the power received by man 
tends toward expression, to be as completely 
manifested as possible. There can be perfect 
correspondence between soul and body only so 

68 Spiritual Health and Healing 

far as the life which touches the heart shall quick- 
en every particle and possess every organ. For 
correspondence means the expression of spirit- 
ual power in exterior states. To be thorough- 
going it must be carried out into expression in 
every detail. 

We are prepared then for another statement 
which touches the heart of the matter, namely, 
that "all diseases in man have correspondence 
with the spiritual world." This statement seems 
absurd at first, since we think of the spiritual 
world as "heaven." But the term is here used 
in its largest sense to i /.elude the entire realm of 
influences affecting the inner life of man. Heav- 
en is order, harmony; but the power tending to 
produce it within us may be interfered with, and 
if there is selfishness or uncleanness at the centre 
there will be a corresponding outward expres- 
sion. If the spiritual life sickens, if there is spir- 
itual death, negation or strife, then the outward 
organism will manifest the conflict that is going 
on within. To say this is not to ignore any of 
the disturbances on the surface commonly called 
disease and attributed to purely physical causes. 
But these are secondary matters, and we are try- 
ing to look at the whole question in the light of 
what is primary. 

If, for example, man is living a life of intem- 
perance of any sort, there is both the effect pro- 

Spiritual Health 69 

duced on the body through drinking, smoking, 
excessive eating, inordinate physical desires and 
passions ; and also the mode of life within man's 
selfhood which permits and fosters this intem- 
perance, leading as it does from one excess to 
another. In contrast with all this excess, ration- 
al balance between tendencies and desires is 
health. If envy rules at the centre, if there is 
hate at the helm, revenge, anger, jealousy, bit- 
terness, anxiety, worry; fear of the loss of mon- 
ey, reputation, or fear of punishment and death 
— in each case the person's life is affected ac- 
cording to the prevalence or persistence of the 
disordered state. Whatever evil desire, lust, or 
other selfish emotion arises to throw man's inner 
life into discord also causes the bodily organism 
to suffer. If man is in doubt, in inner strife or 
temptation, his mental and physical life respond 
accordingly. All these disordered states are 
traceable to the prevailing desire or love, since 
what man wants he pursues, and by putting 
forth his activity in the chosen direction he draws 
himself toward the conditions which fulfil his 
desire. We all know how the changes begin 
which cause our misery, if we are in the habit of 
noticing the immediate results in our feeling. 
To have an impulse to do a good act, to be chari- 
table, forgiving, generous; and then to cut off 
this prompting to be generous by being mean, 

70 Spiritual Health and Healing 

small, hateful, spiteful, is to find our inner life 
immediately narrowed, cramped, impeded. 

Whatever removes man from tranquillity 
through worldly cares and anxieties, as quickly 
affects his outer life. When the inner life is un- 
clean, the thoughts and emotions find ways of 
expression by enlarging upon this impurity. 
For our directions of mind readily grow into 
prevailing states and attitudes, fear and lust 
alike grow by what they feed upon. If there is 
mental weakness, a negative attitude, gnawing 
doubt, or despair; then this attitude affects our 
daily thought and conduct. But if the affirma- 
tive attitude prevails, if every incident is turned 
to account so as to give courage, to strengthen 
hope, lead to success, then equivalent outward 
results follow. To believe in success and to stick 
to this belief is indeed the sure way to secure an 
outwardly successful life. 

The central consideration is never the effect 
or outward expression alone, however many at- 
tendant ills it may lead to; but the inward state 
from which it springs, the state which must be 
changed before the effects will change. " Since 
the causes of disease are in the spiritual world, 
and operate under the law of correspondences, 
and indeed are evils of that world, the diseases 
are not to be dreaded for what they are in them- 
selves. The actual calamity or illness is in the 

Spiritual Health 71 

spiritual evil it externally represents. It is 
selfishness which is the veritable thing to be 
dreaded. It is lust, jealousy, unkind thoughts, 
and enmities that are the real ill-health. Diseases 
of the body are material images of selfishness 
and sin. These are the concrete forms of our 
lusts. These mental things are their origin and 
their source of continuance." l 

This is an unpleasant truth. People do not 
like to have their diseases connected with their 
life as a whole. They approve of the artificial 
separation which Christians have made for cen- 
turies between sin and sickness, in the face of 
the fact that Jesus identified the two and sought 
to establish spiritual health or wholeness. They 
wish to be cured of their illnesses as things apart, 
that is, as bodily maladies susceptible to physical 
remedies only, that they may go on gratifying 
their favorite desires as before. They wish to 
keep such intemperance or excess as may please 
them, according to the conventional life they 
lead; and they refuse to classify these excesses 
as sins or diseases. Nearly everybody objects 
to any sort of teaching, whether urged by the 
Church, by physicians, by science, or by social 
reformers of any school, however liberal or radi- 
cal, which traces human ills and evils down to 
selfishness and bids man master himself. And 

i "Psyehiasis," C. H. Mann, pp. 128, 131. 

72 Spiritual Health and Healing 

so the would-be leaders and reformers are in 
league as it were not to make the indictment too 
severe. We do not like to be fundamental in 
our thinking. We do not like plain truths con- 
cerning our miseries. Too much effort would be 
required on our part were we to become free, 
sane and pure from the ground up, in all depart- 
ments of life. 

To say, however, that all diseases correspond 
with spiritual states is to realize that there are 
also spiritual states which mean freedom for us 
all. There is tranquillity, for example, serenity 
or peace at the centre with its equivalent ideas 
and emotions, calm and stable, and a well-or- 
dered nervous system insuring inner control, 
skilful use of the brain and efficiency in outward 
work. There is interior openness to life, accom- 
panied by what we call spontaneity of spirit, 
freshness of feeling, a certain youthfulness and 
vigorous power of accomplishment. When man 
acknowledges the one source of all life and 
power, and endeavors to live by the divine love 
and wisdom in all things, this responsiveness at 
the centre invites power which takes away any 
number of interferences within the self. There 
is obedience in the true sense, not through mere 
humility or any negative attitude, but through 
dynamic harmony with the divine will, the de- 
sire to be, to live and to act as God would have 

Spiritual Health 73 

man act when attaining the fulness of life. Ser- 
vice is then the natural expression of the inner 
harmony. With faith at the centre there is 
adaptation to divine opportunities along the 
way. The moral life springs from the spiritual 
and man shows by his deeds in his home, in so- 
ciety, in civic service, in the commercial world, 
that he serves one master. To be a house at unity 
with itself is to be free from a thousand ills from 
which we find men suffering who have divided 
houses within them. In brief, it might be said 
that to be in disease or sin is to be trying to serve 
two masters; to be in health and freedom is to 
serve one Master, the Christ. 

"He w T ho lives in good," says Swedenborg, 
"and believes that the Lord governs the universe, 
and that all good is from the Lord alone, that 
all life is from Him, . . . thus that from Him 
we live, move, and have our being, is in such a 
state that he can be gifted with heavenly free- 
dom, and together with it peace ; for he then trusts 
solely in the Lord, and has no cares for other 
things, and is certain that all things are tending 
to his good, his blessedness and his happiness 
to eternity." 1 That is to say, man is thereby 
brought into a state of unity between his will 
and his understanding, he receives the divine 
influx as one and is at peace with God and man 

i "Arcana Ccelestia," No. 2892. 

74 Spiritual Health and Healing 

in his spirit. He does not merely receive from 
within, he also gives. He does not seek first of 
all to get possessions or wealth, to acquire from 
his fellow men; he tries to give to men by per- 
forming his true function in the world as a con- 
structive member of society. Since there is ef- 
flux or expression, there can be an ever greater 
influx from the divine source of love and wisdom. 
It seems an enormous step from the external 
world where we are seeking the causes of dis- 
eases in unsanitary surroundings, in impure 
water and germs, to the realm of thought where 
health means spiritual unity within the self. In 
so far as man's environment is made sanitary 
and all obnoxious germs are destroyed, we ex- 
pect man to be healthy, and all this without re- 
gard to what he may believe concerning spiritual 
things. But we have not been carrying on an 
equally vigorous campaign to teach man to ap- 
preciate and rightly use the sanitary environ- 
ment we hope to create for him. We forget that 
health in the true sense includes every phase of 
man's life, and that when there is no inner un- 
derstanding the forces of the external environ- 
ment may count for naught. What we need 
above all is enlightenment expressing itself 
according to need in conformity with the spir- 
itual standard. 

Spiritual Health 75 

Man cannot truly be understood in one part 
of his selfhood merely, as if he were a being of 
flesh and blood with an obscure entity called "the 
soul" somewhere hidden within the brain. To start 
with man in an adequate way is to begin with 
the great fact that he is spiritual and lives in both 
the spiritual world and the natural, partly recip- 
ient of spiritual forces within his spirit and part- 
ly associated with physical things and influences 
through his organism. The spiritual realm is in 
every conceivable sense the real domain of causes. 
Nothing in the natural world has any power of 
change, motion or life of its own; things in the 
natural world change, move and live by virtue of 
the immanent energies animating them, energies 
which exist for spiritual ends. This is true even 
when natural events appear to go contrary to 
order. The disorders of the natural world can- 
not be understood save through knowledge of the 
powers that normally make for order. Man 
being a spiritual being, living by spiritual influx, 
every event in his life must be put in relation to 
that central truth, however far removed it may 
seem from the ideal. If he suffers discords to 
break into the harmony of his life, these are due to 
misapplication of powers which are intended to 
produce harmony. There is but one efficiency 
in any event. The variations from harmony, 
health and freedom from which man suffers are 

76 Spiritual Health and Healing 

one and all expressions of his own lack of adjust- 
ment to this one Life. 

It becomes plain that the physical organism 
has no choice in what it shall express, since it is 
merely an instrument for the use of the spirit, 
obedient to the understanding and the will. 
Whatever the spirit wills, whatever man yields 
himself to as the goal of action, becomes mani- 
fest in bodily expression and conduct even though 
man permits himself to sink lower than the 
brutes. The body does not live from nature 
alone but from spirit. The body appears to 
move and live by itself because the spirit is in 
such intimate accordance with it that the two 
move as one. The spirit is within it in a connec- 
tion as intimate as that of the fibre within the 
muscle. The spirit has in fact taken unto itself 
a body or visible form, it has clothed itself with 
the natural form as with a garment. 

Since the physical organism is thus responsive 
to the spirit, it follows that when any disturb- 
ance such as anxiety, restlessness, ill-will, anger, 
jealousy, hatred, bitterness, malice or any other 
distemper that expresses selfishness becomes 
active or breaks forth within, then the brain re- 
sponds, the nervous system also responds, and the 
physical organism as a whole reports the inner 
condition. This is true, whether it be merely a 
question of any angry emotion which shows it- 

Spiritual Health 77 

self in the flushed cheek, the clenched fist and the 
swift blow, or a question of deep-seated mental 
states steadily showing themselves in a life of 
habitual servitude to angry passions. There is 
disturbance whenever anger, hate, and the other 
disrupting emotions gain ascendency. This is 
so because man was made not for anger but for 
love, not for selfishness but for fellowship and 
service through response to the Fatherhood of 
God and the brotherhood of man. He was made 
for health, happiness and freedom. The life- 
energies should course through his being without 
let or hindrance. Whatever disturbs his inner 
life disturbs the life-currents generally. The 
more central the disturbance, the more wide- 
spread and serious are the effects coming from 
it. Whatever affects man's inner life affects his 
attitude toward the spiritual world and the ener- 
gies coming therefrom; for man as a receptacle 
of life inevitably takes some sort of attitude, 
either by responsively adopting an experience, 
or by refusing and struggling against it. Thus 
any change of state within him affects his rela- 
tionship to the divine life. Thus it is that really 
to explain his diseases however external they may 
seem, one must take into account what is at the 
same time in process at the centre, as he looks 
above and beyond himself in aspiration or as he 
looks more deeply within his lesser self in petti- 

78 Spiritual Health and Healing 

ness of motive. In either case he turns in a cer- 
tain direction of mind which carries with it a 
sphere of influences. For all his states have 
their likenesses in the forces which they attract 
and to which they correspond. 

To say this is not to declare that the influence 
of the spirit upon the body is the only influence 
that results from man's disordered inner life. 
The physical organism as we well know is not 
like a channel through which a stream flows one 
way only, it is not like an utterly silent ser- 
vant or mere machine. The soul influences the 
body and in the course of time makes manifest 
whatever is in process inside, marking in the 
face the results of anxiety, nervousness, inner 
conflict, repression, unhappiness, domestic troub- 
les; or touching it with evidences of beauty and 
serenity of character, as the case may be. But 
the body also stores away for future trouble or 
future harmony the states into which it has been 
shaped by long-continued activity, by habit, mis- 
use, excess, indulgence. These adverse physical 
conditions act in the course of time like counter- 
forces to impede and deaden the spirit. If the 
inner life is constrained, distraught, rebellious, 
cantankerous, the body faithfully shows the con- 
sequences and sends them back upon the soul. 
Thus the conservative, crystallized, deadened 
inner life of the person who adheres to an old 

Spiritual Health 79 

system of belief with rigid aristocracy and arbi- 
trary intolerance becomes manifest in conditions 
of the physical system that in turn still further 
deaden the inner life. 

The various stages are seen in the case of un- 
clean desires of various sorts. These spring in 
the first place out of misuse of instinctive forces 
in themselves wholly good. The excesses in due 
time quicken desires which grow by what they 
feed upon, and lead to further indulgence. If 
man yields he goes over to the side of selfishness. 
His nervous system and bodily organism obe- 
diently carry out and foster his desire, giving it 
back with increase. Thus the body comes in time 
to condition the mind. To the extent that this 
condition increases man becomes the creature of 
the instrument he should have controlled. When 
such a condition results, something more radical 
than a change of mind must occur. The body 
must be cleansed. Some spiritual influence must 
touch and transform the man, that he may take 
possession of his instrument, and make it alive 
with spiritual health. Only through a transfor- 
mation of both spirit and body can he become 
"every whit whole." It is the power of the divine 
Spirit within him, the healing Christ which ac- 
complishes this wondrous work. 



In the endeavor to learn just how the spirit 
controls the body, it is important to note that 
man may either give assent to bodily tendencies 
or refrain from such desires. Thus he may be 
either slave or master, in the one case apparently 
without any control over his body at all, in the 
other with every evidence of such control. 
Whichever way he turns, and whether seeming 
to control his body or not, his assent or endeavor 
to control becomes an attitude which gathers its 
like and influences the body, an attitude which 
continues to be effective in that way until checked 
by a stronger activity than that of the tendency 
in question. 

The body is adapted to receive the living 
forces which flow in from the spirit in such a way 
that man may act spontaneously, scarcely aware 
that his bodily organism conditions his spiritual 
life. But inasmuch as spirit and body act as one, 
whatever interferes at one point interferes more 
or less in all; for example, when a toothache or 
some other pain localized in a small region up- 


Spirit and Body 81 

sets the customary activities of daily life as a 
whole. Hence it comes about that the spirit 
feels the weight of bodily interference and seems 
to have no power to withstand the obstacles or 
enticements of the flesh. To learn that the spirit 
possesses entire control and impels the body to 
do whatever it does is to become aware of the 
activities by which the spirit has unwittingly per- 
mitted divine forces making for health and purity 
to be interfered with. 

If the inner life is in a state of rebellion, dis- 
traught by anxieties and tensions, the spirit by 
yielding to these states and permitting them to 
increase thereby gives assent to their expression 
in the body, with all the consequences that may 
ensue. In a sense man still rules his flesh even 
when given over to the greatest lusts, for the flesh 
always obediently portrays man's feelings and 
carries out his desires. This subservience will 
continue as long as man so wills. The source of 
evil is not in the flesh, as the mediaeval Christians 
thought. There is no reason to mortify the flesh. 
We make no headway while we attribute either 
the trouble or the efficiency to the body. To do 
this is to be submissively a prisoner of the flesh. 
Nor do we make progress while we conciliate 
and indulge the body, on the ground that the 
flesh is strong and the spirit weak. One could 
not ask for more faithful servants than these 

82 Spiritual Health and Healing 

remarkably responsive bodies of ours, adapted 
as they are to the slightest change of attitude 
on our part. There is plainly a great difference 
between a life of self-gratification and one of 
self-control. Yet, strange as it may seem, 
either condition reveals the supremacy of the 
spirit. Control at the centre means control 
all through, and sometimes mere assent to a 
bodily desire is the equivalent of control. The 
same power which weakly submits would suffice 
to give man a strong hold in the beginnings of 

To adopt this deeper clue to the relationship 
of the spirit and body is not to advocate the short 
and easy road to health advertised by those who 
regard "wrong thoughts 55 as the only causes of 
disease. For a man might mend his thoughts 
in part and still give his will over to evil desires 
in other respects, or he might indulge in idealistic 
affirmations in one direction without endeavoring 
to change his bodily life in conformity thereto. 
Man is not essentially an assemblage of thoughts, 
despite the fact that in large measure he tends 
to make of himself what he thinks and by giving 
himself to directions of mind experiences the 
consequences of his own mental acts. He is more 
truly a will, a centre of desires and affection, 
with a prevailing love. It is this dominant de- 
sire which gives direction to his thoughts. He is 

Spirit and Body 83 

influenced most by that which he steadily wills 
to be. If you can touch him at heart so that he 
is willing to turn from his old mode of life, open- 
ing his whole nature to receive the powers that 
make for goodness and health, then indeed his 
thoughts will conform, his mental imagery will 
be called into play, his emotions will correspond, 
and his external life will begin to show signs of 
change. So in the case of the nervous person, 
the creature of tensions and anxieties, there is 
no radical cure save through a spiritual process 
which reaches the centre, induces a fundamental 
change through cultivation of the life which 
leads to nerve-control and moderate well-bal- 
anced outward deeds. 

To attain health and freedom one may well 
bestow the usual care upon the body, attending 
to its nourishment according to the most approved 
ideas, giving it abundant exercise, observing the 
conditions which men in their prudence have dis- 
covered. Indeed, one who is seeking health by 
spiritual means would naturally go farther than 
this, noting in detail those physical conditions 
which most favor the spirit in the effort to regain 
full sanity and control. One would expect the 
spiritual idealist to undergo a change of tastes, 
steadily bringing the physical life up to the stand- 
ard. Some of these results would come about 
spontaneously, and a man would find himself no 

84 Spiritual Health and Healing 

longer caring for luxuries and means of gratifi- 
cation which formerly expressed his servitude. 

Yet the involuntary consequences are not al- 
ways enough. Some must work and co-operate 
from the outside as faithfully as possible to make 
the physical organism a more fitting vehicle of 
expression. Many of us are so external, so little 
aware of the inner life, that we can best adopt 
the appropriate inner attitude if we first make 
an external change, just as one feels stronger in 
mind by standing erect in a position which sug- 
gests and commands strength. To begin in this 
way is not necessarily to put emphasis upon, ex- 
ternal things, is not to yield one's powers of 
thought or will. One may begin at either end and 
work toward the other. In any event one makes 
such changes for the benefit of the spirit, that 
the whole life may correspond with the spiritual 
ideal. To co-operate from without by breathing 
deeply, taking exercises, and eating pure food, 
is to open the organism for receiving the inflow 
of spiritual life from within. 

There is in fact no reason for making light of 
the laws and conditions of natural healing, for 
the divine ideal coincides with these. All healing 
in the sense of the restoration of function or 
wasted tissue has a natural basis. In so far as 
the organism is restored the spirit has free ex- 
pression. The spirit, by overcoming fear, anxi- 

Spirit and Body 85 

ety, exciting emotions, haunting mental pictures 
and weak attitudes, removes the inner resistances 
to these natural restorative processes. The re- 
sistances overcome, the next step is the substitu- 
tion of attitudes which actively co-operate with 
powers making for health. Such co-operation 
means opening the way for free passage of life 
from within outward. There is a sense in which 
all power resides in the external form, that is, 
when life has this freedom to course through to 
the extremities so that the natural garment may 
perfectly express the spirit. The increasing 
health of the organism ought to be the regular 
accomplishment of man's growth in spiritual 
things. Perfect health would thus be perfect ex- 
pression of an inner life according to the spiritual 

It is not primarily a question of supremacy 
over the flesh as if the body contained nothing 
friendly to the spirit. The body contains nothing 
unfriendly save what man himself has generated 
in it. It needs regeneration with man's own spiri- 
tual rebirth. It needs to be purified with the 
purification that is thorough. To try to make 
out that it is pure while neglecting to purify the 
spirit would be absurd. To ignore it as if it were 
unreal is to make ready for more trouble. Its 
true reality is the rightful privilege of the servant 
carrying out the behests of its master. Every 

86 Spiritual Health and Healing 

instinct, function, organ, is good in its proper 
place; and all its organs and functions are for 
man's health and freedom. 

True health for the body, in contrast with 
either physical methods which reach part way 
or mental alleviations which promise freedom 
through "demonstrating over" the body, depends 
upon recognition of the source of power and 
reality in the body. Since the interiors of the 
body make one or act as one with the interiors of 
the mind, when those of the mind are turned 
toward the divine source of power those of the 
body turn in like manner. Thus to turn in spirit 
toward the sources is to begin to regain the pris- 
tine condition of openness which means perfect 
health. The more truly we understand this law 
of inner turning and outer response, the less at- 
tention we need give to the details of the proc- 
ess. It will then be a question of lifting the 
spirit more and more into unison with the divine 
Spirit, that harmony may increase from more to 

As one writer puts it, "No living thing has 
life apart from God. All life is an influx from 
Him who is life itself; it is variously manifested 
in different living things because of the difference 
in the forms into which it is received. Man's life 
is conveyed primarily to the soul and through it 
to the body, which has the appearance of life 

Spirit and Body 87 

only while the spirit dwells in it. Perfect health 
results when the inflowing life from the Lord 
is received fully and freely. This is possible only 
when His laws are observed on both the nat- 
ural and the spiritual planes. . • . Even more 
essential than care of the body on the natural 
plane is the observance of the laws of God on the 
spiritual plane. Since life flows into the body 
through the soul, the body can receive a full 
normal influx only when the life of the soul is in 
accordance with spiritual laws. Even the people 
who do not understand this truth recognize the 
tremendous influence which the mental state 
exerts upon the bodily condition and emphasize 
the importance of encouraging only kind and 
elevating thoughts and of cultivating a serene 

It has also been pointed out by those who un- 
derstand this truth in part that "physical health 
does not necessarily prove the presence of spiri- 
tual health nor physical ill-health the lack of it." 
That is to say, man's external life receives in- 
fluences from the external world, and his physical 
condition may differ greatly from his spiritual 
state. Hence it happens that people who are 
almost devoid of spirituality are in robust health 
while others who are spiritual have frail or dis- 
eased bodies. Many have been mystified by this 
break in the correspondence between inner and 

88 Spiritual Health and Healing 

outer conditions. It has been pointed out by 
some that the individual in ill-health is not al- 
ways directly responsible. He may not person- 
ally have been guilty of the transgression of laws 
by which his condition has been brought about, 
but may be suffering from acts of his parents 
and of the society in which he lives through fail- 
ure to provide pure water, sanitation and food 
inspection, and to guard against epidemics and 
pestilences. Some one else has pointed out that 
therefore "sick people are not morally responsible 
for their diseases ; if they were, sinners would al- 
ways be ill and saints would always be well ; and 
human freedom would be lost, for no one could 
do wrong nor think falsity without immediately 
suffering physical harm as a result, and he could 
not proceed far in evil courses without meeting 
an early end in physical death." 

Strangely enough, however, this qualification 
is so urged that the value of the idea of spiritual 
healing is wholly lost, and there is no resource 
left save to depend solely upon medical treat- 
ment in the conventional way. It is argued, for 
example, that since there are two distinct worlds, 
the natural and the spiritual, each with its 
sources of power, the body receives life or energy 
from the one, the spirit from the other ; and there 
are natural laws governing the life of the body, 
spiritual laws for the spirit. "Obedience to the 

Spirit axd Body 89 

former . . . gives the body harmony with its 
environment, or physical health. Therefore 
saints and sinners are alike benefited by the shin- 
ing of the sun on earth, and may share together 
the blessings or the curses of natural law, . . . 
Thus bodily conditions are the basis of health 
and disease, in common with all material con- 
ditions as a basis of earthly blessings or hard- 

To adopt this view literally would be to draw 
such distinctions between the natural world and 
the spiritual that we would completely lose sight 
of the great idea of the dynamic, life-giving in- 
flux from God. This view also ignores the fact 
that more depends upon the spirit's way of taking 
the conditions of life than on those conditions. 
We are indeed subject to external influences 
directly affecting the body. We are also subject 
to social influences without number, to the 
"mental atmospheres," the crowd-spirit, to sug- 
gestion, to waves of mental influence. Psychical 
influences also affect us. There are spheres on 
spheres of influence. But the modern devotee 
of spiritual healing assures us that the primary 
consideration is the sphere of influences to which 
we become open: all depends upon the point of 
contact, and the attitude adopted. Thus an un- 
desirable inheritance tending toward disease is 
an opportunity to test our mettle. Back of the 

90 Spiritual Health and Healing 

inheritance is the disposition or temperament. 
Possibly the entire environment, favorable or 
unfavorable, is for the testing of the spirit. 

However dependent the body may be upon 
natural forces, its equilibrium is readily upset by 
fear, the nervous system becomes weak and 
tremulous, the normal rhythms of the heart and 
lungs are interfered with, and it has even been 
said that toxins are generated in the tissues, de- 
vitalizing the blood for body -building. More 
significant still, the equilibrium is rapidly restored 
when fear and other exciting emotions are over- 
come through the regaining of inner control and 
an affirmative attitude. The worst of all emotions 
is hate. It has been said that if a person could 
hate intensely and steadily for one hour, exhaus- 
tion or death would ensue. Contrariwise, the 
most helpful of all emotions is love, and love alone 
has sufficed to save the lives of both children and 
adults. What we are concerned with is those 
spiritual states which, while co-operating with the 
natural restorative forces of the body at their 
best, also open the spirit to the more direct in- 
coming of divine power. 

We note, too, that while sinners, also athletes 
and others in perfect physical health, may be as 
open as anyone to natural forces such as sun- 
light, when illnesses come like dread spectres 
from the outside world there is no power of inner 

Spirit and Body 91 

resistance and a man's apparently splendid health 
counts for naught. On the other hand, a person 
with a frail physique but with spiritual under- 
standing which he applies and spiritual power 
which he uses, may stem a tide which would sweep 
a physically strong man down to death. Thus the 
man who is apparently weakest and most severely 
handicapped by his "unfortunate inheritance," 
may through self-knowledge and mastery over 
his organism develop very great power in meet- 
ing conditions tending to produce disease. Far 
more important than external conditions, what- 
ever they may be, is a man's way of meeting 

To dwell upon the adverse external conditions 
and one's servitude to them would be to find the 
mind overwhelmed and apparently helpless. But 
those who have proved the power of the spirit 
over the body have practically ignored the 
secondary conditions of disease, discounting even 
the fact of inheritance, and have faced what was 
before them with positive determination to con- 
quer. The results they have achieved lead one to 
believe that the primary consideration is always 
the spirit's way of taking life. 

One person will submissively yield to a physi- 
cal illness, or an injury due to a fall or broken 
bone, taking immediately to his bed and lying 
there as if his attitude in the matter had nothing 

92 Spiritual Health and Healing 

whatever to do with the physical condition. Thus 
he will yield his body completely, without know- 
ing that he is submitting it. But another person, 
while observing all the conditions that are pru- 
dent, so that the injured member may be put 
in order and be healed, will in every way co- 
operate with nature in spirit and be up and about 
the first moment his victorious spirit will permit. 
Another will go further still and actively co- 
operate in spirit because of knowledge of his true 
estate as a spiritual being open to divine life from 

The virtuous man will have a great advantage 
on account of the purity of his life. It is a moral 
privilege to be well, and true moral obedience is 
of the inner life. The so-called saint may lack 
the faintest conception of the divine influx as an 
immediate resource in times of every sort of 
trouble. The saint makes a virtue of a few activ- 
ities only, ignoring the law of expression through 
the external life as true evidence of inner har- 
mony. Some saints also make a virtue of resigna- 
tion to bodily ills, as if God preferred to have us 
suffer in a meek spirit. The so-called sinner may 
have advanced much further in real victory over 
hypocrisy, may have a control over the bodily 
organism which might well cause the saint to be- 
come envious. These matters can never be under- 
stood, therefore, by observation of the body alone, 

Spikit and Body 93 

nor by study of the influences and conditions by 
which it is environed. What we must know in 
order to understand the law is the state of the 
spirit, its measure of control, its actual develop- 
ment, its openness to life. Restraint, discipline, 
is not necessarily a virtue ; nor are all men sinners 
who possess freedom of expression, spontaneity 
or obedience to life. All these matters must be 
reassessed in the light of the spiritual standard 
of health. 



Healing in the spiritual sense of the word 
begins with the discovery of our inner powers as 
children of God, made in His image and likeness. 
For through such discovery we learn that the 
spirit is potentially a master and can overcome 
interior and far-reaching causes of human misery. 
From this time forth it is never a mere question 
of illnesses and external obstacles to be surmoun- 
ted, but of the attitudes, beliefs, habits, which 
underlie external conditions and give them their 
power over us. Instead of combating errors or 
denying the power of fears, it is a question of 
cultivating the affirmative spiritual states which 
make for freedom and happiness: faith, good- 
will toward all, charity, loyalty. 

To ' repent," that is, turn about and away from 
our troublesome desires in pursuit of their diviner 
opposites, is one step ; to press forward despite all 
discouragements and conflicts, is another and 
usually a much harder one. For this involves a 
series of changes deeper in nature than any mere 
thinking about ideals. It means earnest desire 


True Spiritual Healing 95 

to have the whole selfhood with its diverse 
promptings and interests made profoundly one. 
In this progress toward the deeper unity or in- 
tegrity of the self man reaches a point where he 
can no longer divide his nature and seek to ward 
off certain consequences only, trying to escape 
from the necessity of coming to judgment in other 
respects. He can no longer dictate terms. If he 
really desires freedom he must observe laws and 
conditions with which he has nothing to do save 
to obey. For man's true freedom is found, not 
through discovering ways of his own, but in choos- 
ing and moving with the guidances which lead in- 
to the divine way. Man does not create the al- 
ternatives which life offers, the opportunity to 
look up or down, in or out ; to move with the con- 
structive powers or against them; to be affirma- 
tive or negative. Yet he has remarkable power 
over life through his will to turn in the one way 
or the other, to change to the affirmative attitude. 
When man is ready to see this real situation in 
life, as he is held in equilibrium between opposing 
forces, looking with open eye courageously into 
his spiritual past and with hope into his spiritual 
future, then indeed he may be healed with that 
healing which means complete sanity. Severe 
and rigid seem to be the conditions which hold 
him to his task, binding him to a present in which 
he reaps the consequences of his unthinking past 

96 Spiritual Health and Healing 

and the failures of his ancestors. Yet the same 
power which long appears to be his enemy, stand- 
ing over him like a slave-driver, proves to be the 
God of infinite love whose disguised blessings be- 
gin at last to be understood. Man begins to be 
free and to find that the power that appeared to 
be hate was love, when he becomes enlightened 
about the opportunities which life offers him, 
when he chooses opportunities that are con- 

It does not suffice, one insists, to specialize on 
those matters commonly regarded under the head 
of "sin," leaving man's health to be considered by 
other specialists. Ill-health of any sort is no less 
truly a sin or failure to achieve the type. For all 
phases of man's life move forward together, sin 
and sickness are sufficiently akin to touch the 
whole individual: the healing which "saves" must 
rescue the entire man and lead him into the ful- 
ness of life. 

Whenever any one has marked off man's sinful 
nature in a sphere by itself as indicative of the 
hell man is making for himself, leaving him to 
repent by reckoning with his sins as if those were 
isolated matters, there has been a tendency to ac- 
quire self -righteousness, as if one were better than 
other people. But when one sees that all these 
matters belong together, there is no resource left 
save through healing for all. There is no longer 

True Spiritual Healing 97 

even a theoretical stopping-point in the discrim- 
ination between God and man, the spiritual world 
and the natural, as if doctrinal distinctions were 
virtues. If the idea of the divine influx of love and 
wisdom means anything at all, one sees that man's 
proper relation to it is dynamic throughout every 
portion of his being, that man is so constituted 
as to receive and appropriate the influent life in 
the plentitude of many-sided health. 

Our view of human nature is different from the 
beginning, when this becomes the ideal. We 
start with the inspiriting idea that man is by na- 
ture a highly organized spiritual being, adapted 
to receive and appropriate influent divine life in 
minuteness of detail, giving it freedom to pass 
into wise expression with creative efficiency. 
We give up the notion that his spirit is a filmy 
essence vaguely filling the body or timidly inhab- 
iting the brain. We give our thought entire lib- 
erty to develop to the full this ideal of the spirit 
as master-life, master-substance underlying and 
strengthening the body according to need. We 
then think of each little receptacle as being 
brought into orderly relation and response, that 
the whole body may become in actuality what it is 
ideally from the beginning, "the temple of the 
Holy Spirit." Giving our thought to this glori- 
ous conception more and more, we may follow 
out very intimately and fully the idea that there 

98 Spiritual Health and Healing 

flows into the soul a life which should touch every 
portion of our being. Realizing in spirit the vital 
reality of this inflow, then experiencing it as a 
quickening result throughout the organism, we 
may give thought to the needs of our brother 
man, exemplifying what we mean by the divine 
influx as a life, not a mere theory; a healing pow- 
er, not a mere summons to forego certain of our 
sins ; a love guiding us to spiritual service, not a 
mere feeling to give us consolation that we are 

The soul thus environed by divine possibilities 
has been graphically compared to a tree out in 
the sunlight receiving from the sun's warm and 
vitalizing rays what is essential to its perfect 
growth. Without the incoming energy from the 
sun, the tree has no life, despite the richness of 
the soil. In response to this descending energy, 
the tree passes through remarkable stages of as- 
similation, through changes wrought within the 
structure by the life that enters every cell. En- 
larging upon the comparison and recollecting that 
man develops instruments of receptivity and ex- 
pression by use, we have a vision of the human 
spirit bathed in the warm, soft light of the Spirit, 
touched in "the secret place" of the heart by de- 
scending love and wisdom. What sort of practi- 
cal realization or service is worthy of this sub- 
lime relationship? What truth is more widely 

True Spiritual Healing 99 

needed than this, namely, that here at hand, in 
the vital hour of interest and need, the soul may 
enter in and receive from a source as bountiful 
as that from which the tree draws sustenance but 
many times increased, and of a quality infinitely 

According to Swedenborg's statement of this 
vital relationship, there is an influx into the soul 
of each one of us at all times, in every moment, 
otherwise we could not exist and would not sur- 
vive; an influx which not only sustains us but 
protects and guides us, withholding man by a 
"very strong force" from influences which tend 
to his injury. That is to say, this heavenly or di- 
vine influx really ' 'rules every one" whatever the 
appearances to the contrary and despite man's 
failure to give recognition to it. This it is that 
keeps man's life within bounds, drawing him into 
the pathways of his progress in loving protection 
and care. It rules man "not in the universal, but 
in the veriest singulars," in the smallest things 
of life ; it is the divine providence which is equal 
to every emergency. Although we are generally 
speaking unaware of this influx, so wrapped up 
in our own concerns that we may even ignore and 
oppose it, the divine life comes "in so vivid a man- 
ner" that man can notice it. For man already 
contains the powers which would make it possible 
for him to live with open vision toward the source 

100 Spiritual Health and Healing 

of his life, with intimate knowledge of the favor- 
able and unfavorable forces that play upon him. 

While few of us may have been so illumined 
and quickened as to become vividly aware of this 
influx, able to distinguish by actual perception 
between life coming from the spiritual world, in 
contrast with influences coming from the natural 
world through the body or from the minds of 
people round about us, every one may attain an 
ideal of this conscious relationship with the divine 
presence by noting the elements of it and letting 
them grow into a clear idea. 

First, in regard to health, note that from this 
point of view it is not physical health or even 
moral health which should be sought as the end. 
For if health is sought for itself aside from the 
spiritual life we may depart from the divine or- 
der, which is by growth from within outward, 
from spiritual things to natural. We might then 
mistake for ends in themselves activities which 
should be co-operative, such as the endeavor to 
keep the body well exercised and in prime condi- 
tion, the use of pure foods, and the like. What 
one should seek is the permanent inner state of 
freedom, peace, tranquillity, from which health 
will spring as a ready consequence if we are liv- 
ing a divinely useful life. One seeks this end by 
working first and last for the spiritual type of 
life in human society. One realizes that the very 

True Spiritual Healing 101 

import of this interior influx is that it shall bring 
precisely this health which does not stop short of 
true service according to our fullest ability. One 
emphasizes the realization by making the ideal 
as vivid as possible, making it an uplifting pic- 
ture of that which is to be. 

Inasmuch as the influent life first touches the 
affectional nature or "heart" in the secret place, 
one thinks of divine love as entering in with quick- 
ening power to establish the right balance in in- 
tellectual things. Love in this creative sense is 
simply unspeakable. Yet intuitively we all know 
that it can accomplish the great miracle within us. 
We think of this life as reaching into the under- 
standing, touching it into illuminating thought; 
and thence affecting the whole mind, the nervous 
organism and the body, accomplishing its work 
wherever needed. Inasmuch as all power is in 
this influx, as it tends outward to that which is 
most external in the body, one thinks of it as 
meeting and overcoming obstructions, lessening 
tensions, carrying out impurities. Once more one 
sees the importance of any co-operation from 
without which tends to keep the organism open 
and free — just as when inwardly intense we 
draw deep breaths, relax, and otherwise regain 
the normal rhythms while interiorly yielding up 
our tensions. 

This realization of the divine influx becomes 

102 Spieitual Health and Healing 

most effective when one sits down in a quiet place 
alone, or with someone who needs help. One 
seeks the divine wisdom by closing the door upon 
the outer world and opening the inner window 
that looks upon the spiritual world. We attain 
a similar attitude in prayer for the sake of wor- 
ship when prayer is really effective; for in true 
prayer there is an upliftment of heart and will, 
an opening out to receive with the conviction that 
it is man, not God, who needs to change. True 
prayer, the Gospels tell us, is to the Father who 
already knows what needs we have and has pro- 
vided for them through the orderly incoming of 
life. If to such a prayer one adds the realization 
that the Father is as surely present as of old, 
present in all detail and minuteness, in the rela- 
tion of Heart to heart, through the divine in the 
human, one may make the prayer as vivid as the 
experience which the spiritual healer calls "real- 

In a realization of the divine presence for im- 
mediate spiritual benefit one needs to forget dis- 
tinctions which are pleasing to doctrinal people, 
and to transcend all barriers in quietly deep 
desire to let the divine life enter without let or 
hindrance. For the time being one thinks only 
of divine relationships, remembering that man is 
made in the image and likeness of God. Thus 
while frankly acknowledging what one has learned 

True Spiritual Healing 103 

from mistakes, one no longer identifies the true 
self with the self that thus erred. For whatever 
the evidences that man acts as if of himself, as a 
separated self subject to adverse influences, in 
self-love and love of the world, one refuses for 
the moment to think in those terms: one thinks 
of man now in his larger estate. In that larger 
estate it is God who achieves, not man. It is the 
divine life in us that leads us to freedom and pro- 
ductiveness. Man has no power in and of him- 
self to work such wonders. The power which man 
appears to have in sheer independence is due to 
an apparent cutting off of himself as if he were 
his very own, an isolated unit seeking private 
ends in disregard of God and man. In very 
truth man is never cut off. He lives from God. 
He enjoys freedom through the divine presence. 
God is the real source of health and strength. 
Unceasingly man is sustained by life from the 
spiritual world. 

This realization is strengthened by the thought 
that all power is in spiritual life, and that there 
is no rival power. That is, the soul is a spiritual 
being constituted of spiritual substance organ- 
ized for the freer life in the spiritual world that 
is to come as well as for experience in this world. 
The spirit has ruling and conquering power over 
the flesh. It can transcend physical conditions 
and become active on the higher level. Every 

104 Spiritual Health and Healing 

thought is a help that is affirmative. Thought by 
thought one can build up a habit, an attitude that 
is favorable to the spiritual will. It is will or 
love which accomplishes the greater work. 

Again, there is strength and helpfulness in the 
realization that to co-operate with the divine the 
human will needs to make affirmative effort. This 
is important for those inclined to yield too much 
or carry self-sacrifice to the extreme. If our atti- 
tude becomes weak we may be as far from true 
adjustment to the divine life as people who assert 
the self autocratically. Half the art of the spir- 
itual life, so far as the individual regarded by him- 
self is concerned, consists in knowing how far to 
go in our endeavor to claim the place which be- 
longs to us. Each must learn this lesson from 
experience, as a part of the larger lesson which 
our whole inner life is intended to teach. 

Can one benefit another by the kind of realiza- 
tion which brings spiritual healing for oneself? 
Certainly, since we are intimately "members one 
of another" in the inner world. It is a question 
of substituting nobler influences for those which 
we already exert. The world of thought which 
we enter is essentially a social world, despite the 
fact that we seem to be more alone when we med- 
itate. There we are connected by spiritual ties 
with those akin to us and those whom we can help. 
We live more intimately with these our real affin- 

True Spiritual Healing 105 

ities than we ever suspect. We can learn to put 
ourselves more fully in line with the divine in- 
coming life through which there are greater op- 
portunities for helpfulness than in anything ex- 
ternal. The true test of relationship to the divine 
influx is not in mere receptivity or meditation 
for our own benefit, but in helping others into 

The spirit of man, let us remind ourselves, is 
essentially dynamic, a user of power rightfully 
supreme over thoughts and emotions, instincts 
and desires ; it rightfully controls the flesh. One 
who truly understands the connection between the 
spirit and the flesh, instead of ignoring the body, 
should be able to gain a control over it impossible 
from the point of view of merely mental healing. 
For he should be able to overcome every obstacle 
in his nature which impedes the inflow of the di- 
vine life. This would mean active co-operation 
with that life all along the line of existence, spir- 
itually, morally, socially, physically, in accord- 
ance with one standard. 

Thus we start in every instance with the same 
great idea, namely, that man is a spirit dwelling 
interiorly in a world of higher power, the home 
of the Spirit within the human heart. In that 
world it is not a question of space but of interior 
states and their expression. The human spirit 
is not separated from fellow spirits, but is drawn 

106 Spiritual Health and Healing 

nearer those akin by every accordant act. To 
desire to be like another whose attitude and con- 
duct are more nobly spiritual, is to put oneself 
nearer the source of the other's power. To de- 
sire to help another is to be with him in spirit, 
adding one's might in favor of the best that is 
in him, seeing him in spirit from the viewpoint 
of the ideal. To make even a little headway in 
such service is to realize that one must become 
a more fitting instrument of the infinite life. 

Once succeed, therefore, in transferring your 
centre of thought from the physical world, as if 
you were a thing of flesh and blood, bound down 
by physical forces and forms, and a new world of 
realities opens before you. Point by point your 
thought may be brought round to correspond. 
Begin to look outward, in touch with the outgoing 
stream from the inner life into the body, then the 
rest will follow. For you will see that, as you 
once impeded the courses of life streaming 
through you by endeavoring to stem the tide no 
man can turn, so now your possibilities of co-op- 
erating are without limit. The interferences you 
offered in your ignorance, your folly, pride, im- 
patience, self-conceit, arrogance and selfishness, 
wrought misery enough for yourself and those 
associated with you; but they did not really 
change you as a person or alter the course of life. 
You begin to be healed from the moment you see 

True Spiritual Healing 107 

the sources of trouble in yourself, your attitude 
and the mode of conduct springing from it; for 
you then cease to blame your neighbors and your 
God, and begin with yourself. Your restoration 
will continue in so far as you transfer your allegi- 
ance to the ever-present, inflowing life which 
never seeks anything within you short of your 
freedom, your health, your larger social service. 
In so far as you become sane at the centre, you 
may become an instrument for that wise sanity 
which the divine providence is ever ready to 



Lorn, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. — 
Mark ix, 24 

Without question, most of us who are en- 
deavoring to live the spiritual life, frequently find 
ourselves in the state of spirit indicated above. 
"Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all 
things are possible to him that believeth. And 
straightway the father of the child cried out, and 
said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine 
unbelief." We see clearly that without childlike- 
ness of heart, no one may enter the heavenly life. 
In our desire to maintain the right kind of sim- 
plicity of spirit and of life, we often look back to 
a period in the life of the soul expressed by the 
fidelity of young Samuel, when in entire respon- 
siveness of heart he said, "Here am I. . . . Speak, 
Lord; for thy servant heareth." Inasmuch as 
the natural man is strongly self-assertive, we wish 
to avoid any claims in our own behalf, that we 
may learn to walk in the way of the Lord. There- 
fore we ask, "What wilt thou have me to do?" 
Again, we are taught that there is but one source 


The Affirmative Attitude 109 

of life or power, that man is a recipient of the 
Divine Love and Wisdom. As instruments of 
life, we wish to be true in every way to the heav- 
enly standard. We realize that "all things are 
possible to him that believeth," but the question 
is, How may we acquire the right attitude with- 
out making too much of ourselves? 

It requires little observation, however, to dis- 
cover that as some men err in self-assertiveness, 
so others overdo in their endeavors to be recep- 
tive. Our belief concerning man as a receptacle 
of life often leaves us in a state akin to passivity, 
as if our part were merely to receive and retain. 
Inasmuch as no man can serve two masters, he 
who is not actively working to serve the cause of 
righteousness may be virtually against that cause, 
like the pacifist in war time who merely stands 
apart in protest. "He that is not with me is 
against me; and he that gathereth not with me 
scattereth." So-called passive obedience is not 
true responsiveness. What is demanded of us is 
not merely recognition but co-operation. They 
really stand for and serve the kingdom who ac- 
tively put themselves in line with work that is in 
progress. No half-way measures suffice. We are 
bidden to serve with all our might, just as we 
are bidden to "love the Lord thy God with all 
thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy 
mind, and with all thy strength." This is very 

110 Spiritual Health and Healing 

emphatic language. He who is trying in every 
way to be true to this commandment, earnestly 
desires to know what kind of social activity should 
spring from true interior receptivity. For he 
wishes to be a man in full spiritual right. 

A direct clue to the affirmative attitude is 
found when we regard it in the light of victory 
over temptation. The negative attitude is due 
in part at least, to doubt or hesitancy. Natur- 
ally those who wish to tempt us do whatever is 
in their power to keep us in a state of suspense. 
Thus dark influences have access to us. On the 
other hand, the power of the good with us tends to 
dispel doubt, hence to overcome the negative atti- 
tude, that the door may be closed to all undesir- 
able influences. While in temptation, man hangs 
between the negative and the affirmative. To 
become actively responsive to the divine life, we 
must be strong in our hope, firm in faith, that 
we may be helped into a spiritual state, in which 
we are habitually in the affirmative. In war time 
we saw the importance of the affirmative attitude. 
We declared with entire conviction that the right 
would win, that it must win. We could not af- 
ford to doubt. 

" Assurance respecting the result precedes the 
victory and belongs to the victory." This assur- 
ance bespeaks the moral attitude. By holding 
to what we believe to be the right with strong 

The Affirmative Attitude 111 

conviction, we launch our energies with carrying 
power, we call our reserves into play. As matters 
go in the world, we need some great incentive, 
we need to face a crisis or disaster in order to 
be called into fulness of action and show what 
we are able to accomplish. Only by adopting 
the affirmative attitude in full strength, is man 
able to depend on the powers of the moral order 
to the full. The man who thus acts is not active 
in his own might. Although apparently acting 
as if all power were his own, he is in reality 
co-operating with the divine will. 

Again, we note the power of the affirmative 
attitude when it is a question of spiritual truth. 
We may not as yet be able to grasp a principle 
as true. We may desire to accept it, but objec- 
tions may arise. If, however, we are willing to 
make the venture on faith, noting the practical re- 
sults, it may forthwith become a truth to us. Our 
teachings far surpass our power of present veri- 
fication, but we can at least be affirmative in re- 
gard to them. If we hold to a principle because 
we believe it is divine, this fidelity will bring its 
reward in the shape of sure convictions. It is the 
affirmative attitude which quickens us to gain 
spiritual wisdom. By wisdom in contrast with 
mere knowledge, we mean truth that has borne 
the test, knowledge we have dared to live by. It 
comes forth from our lips with the power of life 

112 Spiritual Health and Healing 

behind it. We have ventured to stand by it and 
it has stood by us. Seldom do we grow in spirit- 
ual truth without an act of faith. And faith is 
an efficient, constructive power in the spiritual 

The affirmation of spiritual truth "that it is 
so" because of the source from which it came, is 
indeed the beginning of the mind's regeneration. 
By taking this step, even when we cannot see 
clearly, we ally ourselves with the constructive 
powers. The human part consists in making the 
venture. Only when thus left free to choose and 
to venture, could we be morally free. Our hu- 
man situation often seems uncertain. So indeed 
it is while we waver between the negative and 
the affirmative. Yet a slight effort may turn the 
scale. Even in our uncertainty we may test the 
great promises. To cry out in our uncertainty, 
"Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief," is 
to change from weakness to strength. Much de- 
pends on willingness to cast the die. The result 
is a new centre of equilibrium. 

We hardly need to be told that "the good can- 
not flow into what is negative." The good, we 
know, comes to us to accomplish results, to oper- 
ate through us. It is with us to flow from the 
inmost to the outmost, to take form in practical 
service enlisting our social nature. Granted the 
expression of what has come, although it be a 

The Affirmative Attitude 113 

mere beginning in the life of charity, more can 
be added. While our minds dwell upon the ab- 
stract or general principle, we still belong with 
people classified as negative. We often meet 
people who are in a vague intellectual state. 
There is much scattering of force among those 
who try to believe so many things, those who are 
merely liberal, broad-minded; hence indefinite. 
"He that is not with me is against me; and he 
that gathereth not with me scattereth." To be 
affirmative is to come out into the open, to take 
sides, show our loyalty, speak out. It is to adapt 
ourselves to our age at a promising point, where 
activities are in process and people are testing 
out what they believe. 

We often look with a feeling akin to envy on 
people who are cultivating their powers with no 
thought for the time being save for self-expres- 
sion. There seems to be an advantage in this 
form of concentration. No energy is lost in self- 
disparagement. There is no effort to be self- 
sacrificing. There is expression, life, energy. In 
contrast with this free self -development, people 
who are trying to be good Christians frequently 
lose headway by undue self-examination, by the 
effort to be duly humble, contrite. The highly 
conscientious person may spend most of his ener- 
gies trying to learn in advance precisely what he 
ought to do. Others discount every talent they 

114 Spiritual Health and Healing 

possess in their zeal to overcome the self. Chris- 
tian self-sacrifice, as many pursue it, is chiefly 

Yet why should we discount the self in this 
way? Is there any real conflict between the cul- 
tivation of our talents to the full and their use 
for divine ends? What more could God ask of 
us than that we should be productive individuals, 
expressing character to the utmost? For no one 
can endeavor to express himself to the full with- 
out considering what he can do best in the world, 
what he can contribute to society as it exists to- 
day, how he may best realize a definite purpose. 
Man in deepest truth is "an organ of life." He 
cannot underestimate the prompting to come 
forth and live out his life to the full without dis- 
paraging his Creator. Self-sacrifice is not the 
end; dedication to a purpose, devotion to an 
ideal, is the standard. Devotion is a positive 
term. It is affirmative. 

The older theology was nearly always negative 
in emphasis. It dwelt overmuch on the sinful- 
ness of man, the depravity of human nature, and 
the weakness of the flesh. It painted the world 
in dark, lurid colors, and had more to say about 
hell than about heaven. It condemned the world 
and found fault with even the simple natural pur- 
suits. It dwelt on the sufferings of the cross, 
the atoning blood, the sacrificial death, as if the 

The Affirmative Attitude 115 

race were to be saved by these negative consider- 
ations. It emphasized the resurrection instead 
of the glorification and the saving life that went 
forth into the world. The human self was sup- 
posed to emulate the Saviour in all these negative 
ways. The goal was escape from the woes of the 
flesh through mere acceptance of the Redeemer 
as having died to save us from our sins, as if mere 
faith were adequate to save. Thus while it ap- 
parently called upon man to choose the difficult 
way, the way of the cross, the old theology really 
exacted little of man; it was content with the 
milder or negative virtues. 

The newer theology expects everything of man, 
just because it is positive. We now see clearly 
that only so far as we come out of the strongholds 
of our self -righteousness and really live by the 
faith we profess, do we make any true headway* 
For no one died to save us from making this ef- 
fort. There is no salvation through death alone. 
It is not a question of the sufferings upon the 
cross, or even of the resurrection ; but of what fol- 
lowed through the triumphant life of the living 
Lord, whose second coming is through the inner 
Word. The union of the divine with the human 
was positive. It was a dynamic, live-giving unity. 
It meant a new centre of action in the spiritual 
life of the race. We have been waiting all through 
the centuries for the time when Christianity 

116 Spiritual Health and Healing 

should be put to its true test as a dynamic faith. 

So, too, the new birth is a positive event in the 
life of the soul. It begins in all seriousness when 
we come out into the clear light of day, out of 
hypocrisy, and every device through which we 
pretend to be what we are not. Through the new 
birth, man is made constant. The will and the 
understanding are brought into efficient unity. 
Love comes to its own as the greatest power. To 
love in fulness or consistency means to set our- 
selves in motion to achieve what we love, namely, 
to attain truth, to work for it ; to serve our fellow 
men, to show by our conduct that we really love 
the Lord. In short, the new birth comes, not to 
destroy, but to fulfil; and to fulfil is to attain 
the affirmative. 

Since so much depends on this advance from 
the subjective into the objective, every construc- 
tive thought, emotion or act of will, is a help. 
Strictly speaking, every thought is negative or 
affirmative. By shifting the emphasis or even 
by changing a word in a sentence, we can change 
from the negative to the affirmative. With a 
mere word or intonation, as we address ourselves 
to a person in spiritual need, we may turn the 
tide. The idle words for which we are called to 
account are the negative words, the quick, harsh 
judgments, the adverse criticism, the hate, anger, 
jealousy, bitterness, complaint, faultfinding. 

The Affirmative Attitude 117 

Every one whom we thus condemn needs our 
encouragement and love. A mere hint, a word 
of good cheer or wise counsel, will sometimes 
give the impetus. Idle indeed are many of our 
utterances in comparison with what our lan- 
guage might be. 

A mother's loyalty to her children under con- 
demnation is a typical instance of the affirmative 
attitude. When the heart is affirmative, its power 
is carried to another, though no word be spoken. 
We feel the adverse influence of one who does 
not understand and is condemnatory, one who 
stands off and inspects. But sympathy is affirma- 
tive. We are quickened into productivity by 
those who believe in us, who call us out and 
encourage us to do our best without bestowing 
credit which does not belong to us. 

To take the affirmative attitude toward people, 
is to see the good in them, what they are endeav- 
oring to achieve. This is no small attainment, 
in view of all that we know about human frailties 
and sins. We have been apt to think that we 
should dwell on the frailties and sins, condemn 
people for them, and call our neighbors to ac- 
count. But we have excelled in negative crit- 
icism. We have left people disheartened. Doubt- 
less they were already keenly aware of their fail- 
ings. Without being blind to their faults, what 
is incumbent upon us is to see through these to 

118 Spiritual Health and Healing 

the goal or purpose in life. To dwell on the pro- 
cess instead of the end, is to be negative. After 
all, what is worthy of us as lovers of our fellow 
men, is to see the spirit through the flesh and call 
the spirit into power. 

If no man sins with his whole nature, if there 
is always a secret place where the Lord dwells, 
where the Lord may be found, then to be affirma- 
tive is to see man in the image and likeness of 
God ; to stand for this ideal, to believe in it, help 
to call it into realization. That surely is what 
we wish people to do for us. When disheartened, 
there is help for us if we once more discriminate 
between the process and the product, if we return 
to the ideal, rise above the actual, throw off the 
bondage of circumstance. Accordingly, we re- 
call what we started out to accomplish. We seek 
the positive lessons of our present experience. 
Thus we gradually shift the emphasis, gain a 
new impetus and begin again. What we thus 
accomplish for ourselves, we may help others to 
accomplish by regarding them in the light of their 

In deepest truth, the divine life within us 
is seeking to lift us into fulness of being. We 
have made great headway if able in some measure 
to distinguish between the human and the divine. 
Thus to discriminate, in the newer sense of the 
word, does not mean to put God far from us, 

The Affirmative Attitude 119 

because unlike us in nature. Although differing 
from us in power, God is made one with us by His 
love. The truth of the incarnation, of the Divine 
in the human, is affirmative. The great truth is 
that the presence of God is life-giving, dynamic. 
It is the presence of God, when recognized in this, 
its vitalizing aspect, which develops the affirma- 
tive attitude in us. 

People have thoughtlessly fallen into the habit 
of speaking of evil as if it were a cosmic power, 
as if it were co-extensive with the good and at 
war with it, endangering righteousness, making 
heaven a matter of doubt. In contrast, goodness 
appears to be negative ; people who are trying to 
live righteously are often spoken of with dispar- 
agement, as if they had chosen the doubtful side. 
Now, life is oftentimes a warfare within the soul. 
But we cannot for a moment entertain the hy- 
pothesis of failure. The structure of the spiritual 
cosmos is moral. Life is for moral ends. The 
destructive forces of the world are in the last 
analysis negative, despite all appearances. Over 
against them is the supreme fact of the incarna- 
tion with its victory over selfishness. We renew 
our ideals, and, by an act of faith, cross from the 
negative to the positive side and ally ourselves 
with the powers making for righteousness. We 
refuse to judge hy appearances. Belief in the 
moral integrity of the cosmos is, we see, essential 

120 Spiritual Health and Healing 

to victory. We are assured that the right will 
triumph. We identify ourselves in spirit with 
it. To make this venture is to find ourselves 
greatly heartened. 

The application of the foregoing to daily life 
becomes the more plain as we realize our responsi- 
bility. Simply to think the matter out, is to make 
headway. By every constructive thought, we 
help. By every aspiration in love to the Lord, 
we put ourselves in line with forces able to resist 
the negative element in us, to overcome the de- 
structive forces. We realize how true is the state- 
ment that man is held in equilibrium between the 
two groups of forces until he makes the choice. 
Moral choice is an affirmative. By making it, 
we put ourselves in line with any number of for- 
tunate consequences. This is where we have the 
greatest power, in this ability to shift the empha- 
sis, to turn from doubt to willingness to believe, 
from hate to love, and so on through an almost 
endless series of contrasts. 

The dependence of the human upon the divine 
is seen at every stage. "Lord, I believe; help 
thou mine unbelief." I do not wholly see. Often- 
times I am very uncertain. I do not know how 
my wants are to be provided for tomorrow or next 
year. But there is work on hand for today. Let 
me act in full faith now. What now seems im- 
possible will prove perfectly possible when the 

The Affirmative Attitude 121 

right time comes. I need not hesitate to cultivate 
and use my powers to the full. Every power is 
good in its place. The whole of our earthly life 
is a venture in behalf of faith, to find out what 
actions are in line with the divine providence and 
hence are constructive, w r hat ones spring from 
our self-love and so are destructive. The divine 
is with us to build us into houses not divided 
against themselves, to quicken us to serve one 
Master, one Lord ; to guide us into the affirmative, 
out of all these weaknesses which cause our misery 
and our discontent. Although we see this great 
truth only in part and still in a glass darkly, we 
may declare that we believe. "Lord, I believe; 
help thou mine unbelief." 



It is the spirit that quickeneth; . . • the 
words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and 
they are lift. — John vi, 63. 

What marvellous words are these that fall 
from the Master's lips after he has assured his 
hearers that he is "the bread of life/' "the living 
bread" from heaven, bringing life from the Father 
and giving life to those who are responsive. Even 
the words he utters are spirit and life. Hence 
Jesus says to the disciples on another occasion, 
after conversing with them at length, "Now ye 
are clean through the word which I have spoken 
unto you" (John xv, 3). The word of the Lord 
then is purifying as well as life-giving. This is 
the word which "shall not pass away," the word 
of eternal life, the truth which sets men free. It is 
the word which unites, which is from the Father 
to the Son, and thence to the disciples. "If a man 
love me, he will keep my words : and my Father 
will love him, and we will make our abode with 
him . . . and the word which ye hear is not mine, 
but the Father's which sent me" (John xiv, 23- 


The Quickening Word 123 

24). 'Tor I have given unto them the words 
which thou gavest me; and they have received 
them, and have known surely that I came out 
from thee, and they have believed that thou didst 
send me" (John xvii, 8) . 

Is it possible for us to read these same words 
so that they shall become to us words of spirit 
and of life? Surely, if we give thought to the 
inward man as renewed and quickened by the 
Divine Presence through the creative word. 

The Apostle Paul speaks of having "the mind 
of Christ," which renews. Writing to the Corin- 
thians he says, "But though our outward man per- 
ish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day" 
(II Cor. iv, 16). He also bids the Ephesians 
seek the inward source of the life that renews. 
"And be renewed in the spirit of your mind" 
(Eph. iv, 23). One's prayer would naturally be 
that of the psalmist, "Create in me a clean heart, 
O God; and renew a right spirit within me" 
(Ps. li, 10). This quest for the renewing word 
reminds us of the inspiriting statement in Isaiah, 
"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew 
their strength ; they shall mount up with wings as 
eagles ; they shall run, and not be weary ; and they 
shall walk, and not faint" (Isaiah xl, 31). 

Surely, these are wonderful words of promise. 
God is the true source of strength, of quickening 
power. Our part is to seek the sanctuary of the 

124 Spiritual Health and Healing 

Spirit, that we may truly "wait on the Lord," 
may hear the quickening word which especially 
meets our need. Every true prayer should bring 
this quickening. Whenever we read the Master's 
words as words of life> we ought to be renewed. 
This renewal ought not only to give us a new im- 
petus to do our work in the world but a sense of 
power in carrying out that impetus, in His name. 

Why is it that we do not more frequently feel 
this renewing sense of Life? Is it because we 
read with doctrinal interests and forget to realize 
that there is quickening value in the very words 
themselves, in addition to the truth which appeals 
to our understanding? Is it because we have 
heard and read these words so many times that 
now they are as familiar as the beauties of spring 
or the glories of sunset? Do we read them as 
historical statements simply, and fail to make 
them vivid and real in the concrete imagery of our 
own thought? Or is our failure due to the fact 
that we have never thought of these words of 
power as applying to the whole of life, as bring- 
ing strength and overcoming weariness through 
the spirit they bring? 

Whatever the reason for failing to make the 
spiritual word a vitalizing power, it is well to 
consider the matter in some detail, that we may 
make headway at last in passing beyond the mere 

The Quickening Word 125 

How can it be true that the inward man is re- 
newed day by day? Through the continuous, the 
constant presence of the Divine life within us as 
an influx or incoming into "the secret place" of 
the heart. While we are not conscious of this in- 
coming Life in the moment of its imbuing touch 
with our spirit, we may complete in thought what 
is lacking in actual experience, thinking of it as 
more immediately present to our spirits at certain 
times than at others. We may remind ourselves, 
for example, that during sleep we may be more 
receptive than in our waking hours, when mental 
life surges forward so actively. If tonight I take 
my problems and trials to bed with anxious and 
fear-breeding thoughts, I shall thereby put a bar- 
rier around the inward man. But if I begin half 
an hour before the time for sleep approaches to 
make my spirit ready for sleep, I may be able to 
drop all cares with a free-mindedness which will 
make of my night's rest a divine communion. My 
part is to cut connection with external matters, to 
drop all difficulties and uncertainties, and give 
myself to gentle sleep, "Nature's sweet restorer/* 
as I would offer my spirit in the truest prayer. 

I do not assume to know my chief est needs in 
so doing. I do not necessarily ask for help. My 
hope is that I shall give myself to renewing 
slumbers in whatever way I need most to be re- 
ceptive. I return to the sources. I am a child 

126 Spiritual Health and Healing 

again. If I knew precisely by what word to utter 
or express this responsiveness at its best, I would 
let this be my last active thought before giving 
myself to sleep. I can but say, "Let the words 
of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be 
acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and 
my redeemer." "The words of my mouth" here 
represent the external life, while the meditation 
of the heart stands for the inner self. May these 
be in unison. May I so give myself in spirit to my 
Father who knows all my needs that on awaken- 
ing there will come a new impetus for the dawning 

Sometimes the day begins to dawn on our con- 
sciousness before we open our eyes to behold the 
beautiful morning light. We may awaken at an 
earlier hour than usual, to find the mind partially 
illumined by thoughts which come spontaneous- 
ly; not by self-conscious exertion, inference or 
reasoning, but through the divine light. Diffi- 
culties are sometimes cleared away in a flash 
during such an experience. We may see precisely 
where we have lost the spirit and become im- 
mersed in forms, things and processes. We may 
have a new vision of the self or of some one 
whom it is our privilege to help. 

No rule for putting the mind into this illumined 
state at its best can be given. One can only say, 
Cherish it when it comes, observing the conditions 

The Quickening Wokd 127 

which invite its coming that you may encourage 
their recurrence. By such an experience one 
learns in part what it means to "think with the 
spirit" rather than with the external mind. Thus 
one has a clearer idea what the spirit is. 

But one can give a rule for mental states in 
which the will plays a part. When you are non- 
plussed, absorbed in conditions, involved in rou- 
tine and weary, seek some form of recreation or 
change which will fill your mind for the time, so 
that you will drop your cares and problems. Then 
in the midst of it all you may gain the needed 
contrast, side lights may fall upon your daily 
life, your work, your relation to your associates. 
Again, read a favorite author or the Bible until 
a thought appeals to you with clarifying power 
and gives you a clue. The Apostle Paul says, 
"Be ye transformed by the renewing of your 
mind, that ye may prove what is the good, and 
acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Bom. 
xii, 2). 

It is well to bear in mind, also, that there is 
with us a "spirit of truth" which will lead us into 
all truth if we faithfully follow. Oftentimes we 
are unable to find a clarifying or uplifting 
thought until we first think matters over, looking 
back over the past to see what influences have 
brought us where we are today, what lessons are 
to be learned, what change we need to make in 

128 Spiritual Health and Healing 

our attitude. There is great value in facing life as 
it actually exists in the living present which is 
for our development, noting motives, desires, the 
kind of love which is prevalent. For when we 
trace our activities to their sources, seeing clearly, 
realizing where we weakened, when we became 
unduly absorbed in externals — then we realize 
that there is a great freeing power in spiritual 
truth. Sometimes a thought suffices to turn the 
prevailing attitude from negative to positive. 
Sometimes, too, we are prompted to utter the 
word of power which as quickly sets another free. 

It is interesting and helpful to put ourselves 
back in imagination into the time of the Gospel 
works of healing and realize what faith was some- 
times felt in the Master's presence. One woman 
of strong faith simply begged leave to touch the 
hem of Jesus' garment, that she might be made 
whole. Another person said confidently, "Speak 
the word, onty, and my servant shall be healed." 
Many of the hearers of the parables and the Ser- 
mon on the Mount must have realized most vivid- 
ly that they were hearing words which were spirit 
and life. Undoubtedly these hearers felt marked 
spiritual benefit from these power - carrying 

Why is it that the followers of Christ in the 
churches have lost the ability to put the soul in 
touch with spirit and life as the glad messages 

The Quickening Word 129 

once brought power to men? Why was it neces- 
sary for a new movement to spring up outside 
of the churches to re-emphasize the therapeutic 
value of the Gospel? Apparently because so 
much stress has been placed upon the intellectual 
value in contrast with the life-giving power. It 
has seemed to believers in doctrines that they have 
done their part when they have come forth into 
public acceptance of the denominational faith. 
But thus to believe, with qualification after quali- 
fication, lest one fail to state this faith in precise- 
ly the right way, has been to lose the force of the 
original truth. That truth was spread abroad in 
its universality. It was for every emergency and 
every hour of need. It was to be made concrete, 
carried out into the flesh, the external life. 
When we qualifj% when we try to manage or 
regulate, we check the incoming life, losing im- 
petus and becoming absorbed in our own states 
and thoughts. But this life comes to us that 
we may not only receive in fulness but give in 

"Give, and it shall be given unto you." The 
power of love is increased within us by giving. 
Conjunction with God is increased through such 
responsiveness and expression. This reciprocal 
action is the real test of belief. Man is so consti- 
tuted as to receive the divine life in ever-increas- 
ing fulness and perfection, if he gives in equal 

130 Spiritual Health and Healing 

abundance. "Every faculty can enlarge . . . 
with capacity for the receptivity of love and wis- 
dom, peace and joy, which will increase with every 
influx of life from the Lord." Man appropriates 
life and power from this influx by living in large- 
minded responsiveness in accordance with it. The 
influx vivifies in accordance with reception. In- 
asmuch as no two individuals are precisely alike, 
each one needs to learn from experience how to 
adapt life in its fulness to receptivity and giving. 
The individual who has proved the power of the 
quickening word by admitting it into his whole 
being, is able to speak and to give persuasively 
to others. 

The denominational Christian is apt to become 
crystallized in attitude through constant emphasis 
on his particular creed. Hence it remains for the 
outsider to practice the Gospel with respect to its 
larger application. But the large-minded fol- 
lower of Christ never allows his thought to be- 
come crystallized at all. There ought to be new 
evidences, fresh reasons, immediate contacts with 
life, to keep the spirit alive. This would be our 
constant effort, if instead of believing for our own 
salvation or worshipping to increase personal 
piety, and the mere giving of intellectual assent 
to what we already believe, we should seek the 
words of life and of the spirit, and forthwith carry 
them to someone in need. 

The Quickening Word 131 

Sometimes, in endeavoring to be helpful to one 
in need, we find it necessary to utter keen truths 
that arouse dissent, stir the mind into self-defense, 
or even evoke vigorous emotions in protest. For 
there must first be vital response of some sort. 
Thus a physician may find it necessary to arouse 
a bedridden invalid out of easy-going habits of 
months or years of self-absorption and the nour- 
ishing of luxurious aches and pains. Thus the 
whole world had to be aroused from its compla- 
cent, luxurious and pleasure-loving slumbers by 
the great war. And the war itself was hardly 
enough. It had to be followed by other deep stir- 
rings over social issues, strikes and revolutionary 
programs. "Where there is life there is hope." 
There must often be ploughing and harrowing. 
Then we may sow the good seed. All these pro- 
cesses are mentioned in the Gospels, that we may 
understand the rightful place of the quickening 

Of what avail after all is belief in spiritual 
things unless we realize that the spiritual element 
in us is the life-element, that to be spiritual 
is to be unselfish? If the divine life which comes 
to us comes as power to do, as energy wherewith 
to achieve, then the first question is, What is there 
within our being, our thought, our affections and 
conduct, which interferes with this life, and how 
can it be removed? 

132 Spiritual Health and Healing 

When such searching questions are put to us 
we are apt to rise up in self-defense at first. 
Some of us chanced to have a weak physical in- 
heritance, with tendencies to disease, and so we 
seem to be exempt. Others are handicapped 
through early training at home, by educational 
deficiencies, and by our contact with the world. 
The story of our handicaps seems indeed endless, 
as one after another we come forward to tell why 
we are wearied, burdened, ill and suffering. We 
seem to be involved in one another's burdens to 
the limit. Our good resolutions and efforts should 
have been made by our great-grandparents on 
both sides of the house. There seems to be no 
real relation or correspondence between what we 
inwardly will to be and the conditions which our 
outward life attracts. 

Yet what shall we do? Shall we simply excuse 
ourselves and our immediate ancestors, making 
no effort to live by the quickening word? Of 
what meaning is this great truth that the divine 
love and wisdom are present with us according to 
our need? 

What if we think as little as possible of hered- 
ity and external environment, of any and all 
handicaps, and begin where we are today to give 
the inner life more and more fully to the divine 
presence? However old we may be according to 
the calendar, whatever the hindrances before us, 

The Quickening Word 133 

we are all in the same process at one point or an- 
other, and we may all begin to emphasize the 
divine efficiency instead of dwelling on the hu- 
man process. 

Sincerely to believe in the divine influx as a 
present reality, is to open our spirits in readiness 
to receive guidance, the word of life and power 
which is our greatest need today. We should not 
try to bring the whole of life into line at once. It 
is well to concentrate upon an immediate oppor- 
tunity, lifting our spirit into spiritual light that 
we may be guided. Then our responsiveness will 
grow from more to more, and we may find our- 
selves doing what seemed impossible while we 
dwelt upon our limitations and handicaps. 

Something we have gained if we are willing to 
entertain even the idea that the divine influx is 
to be regarded as vitally true now, that the living 
Lord is here with words which are spirit and are 
life. For theoretical objections will then fall 
away and we will begin to see that it is a question 
of our attitude. 

On the inward side of our nature at least the 
correspondence between attitude and what it in- 
vites is perfect. There is all the power and life, 
all the wisdom and love we need. There is spirit- 
ual health and freedom. There is power to live 
the good life. Everything depends on the human 
side on recognition of and co-operation with the 

134 Spiritual Health and Healing 

one Efficiency. We can hardly expect what we 
have not invited. We are not likely to seek to 
be "every whit whole" even in spirit, until we 
gain the idea that the living Christ comes to 
minister to the whole individual. 

So, too, when we read the Gospels, much de- 
pends on what we look for. If we, when we read, 
when we worship, merely anticipate a Sabbath 
rest from our week day problems, this pleasant 
contrast is what we are likely to find. If we 
search the Bible in quest of passages to confirm 
a favorite doctrine, we may find what we seek. 
But to find the hidden truth in the letter of the 
Word, we must make the effort which leads to 
it. And so to hear the word which is spirit and is 
life we need especially to start with the thought 
of God as the living, present Lord, the light of 
Christ in the soul of man today. We need the 
idea of the divine influx and with this the thought 
that there is wisdom, life, power according to our 
need. The word is a symbol or sign of this power. 
The idea is a clue or incentive to start our spirit 
into activity in the direction in which we need 
light. And so we endeavor to penetrate behind 
the intellectual form in an attitude of openness 
of spirit. It was in this penetrating, vivifying 
spirit that Jesus spoke to the disciples and then 
said to them in confirmation, "Now ye are clean 
through the word which I have spoken unto you." 

The Quickening Word 135 

And it is in further confirmation and quickening 
power that he also says, "And the word which 
ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent 



"And they went forth, and preached every- 
where, the Lord working with them, and con- 
firming the word with signs following." — Mark 
xvi, 20. 

Oftentimes when reading the Bible we come 
upon a verse or phrase which we have passed by 
a hundred times without even noting that it was 
there, so intent are we ordinarily in the pursuit 
of those ideas which habit has taught us to look 
for. There is such a phrase in the verse quoted 
above, "the Lord working with them," as the clue 
to the conclusion which follows, "and confirming 
the word with signs following." We are apt to 
overlook this significant statement because con- 
ventional thought emphasizes belief and the un- 
fortunate consequences of wrong belief. Just 
above there is a verse which reads, "He that be- 
lieveth and is baptized shall be saved ; but he that 
believeth not shall be damned." The reader who 
is fearful of results likely to attend refusal to be- 
lieve will probably stop at this word "damned," 
not knowing that this is too strong a word to 


With Signs Following 137 

translate the original, which means "condemned/' 
and is the same word used elsewhere to indicate 
the natural consequences of our actions. Missing 
the point with regard to belief, the reader is like- 
ly to go on to this last verse, "And they went 
forth and preached everywhere." This verb 
"preach" is apt to suggest something modern, 
and so the whole thought of these verses may be 
shifted to the dogmas one is supposed to believe 
or be punished, the dogmas which are commonly 
preached in the churches. 

But, noting this profound statement, "the Lord 
working with them," we are sent back to recon- 
sider. This is the last utterance of the disciple 
who writes this Gospel. The evangelist has been 
telling about the resurrection as the last of those 
memorable experiences which brought near to 
men's hearts the power of the Christ over out- 
ward things. He informs us very briefly con- 
cerning the final appearance of the Master among 
the eleven. Once more he tells us how the dis- 
ciples were imbued with the spirit of Christ and 
sent forth to labor in the vineyard of the Lord. 
The disciples were not bidden to "preach" in 
the sense in which we usually apply the term, 
but "to proclaim the glad tidings to every creat- 
ure" — this is the way the original reads. It was 
above all a question, not of alleged punishment 
to be inflicted on those declining to believe; for 

138 Spiritual Health and Heading 

this would be a negative consideration ; but of the 
signs following upon belief. What kind of signs 
were these to be? Not theoretical matters, not 
the issues which pertain to dogmas and the organ- 
ization of churches; but practical results. In 
the name of Christ the disciples were to cast out 
devils, speak with new tongues, take up serpents, 
drink deadly things without injury. That is, the 
disciples were to enjoy those experiences which 
show the supremacy of the Spirit over material 
things. More important still, those who believed 
were to lay hands on the sick, and the sick were 
to recover. This much having been given as 
a promise, the evangelist goes on to tell us that 
the Lord "was received up in heaven/' This did 
not mean that the Master of life and death de- 
parted from the disciples, for there follows this 
phrase so easily overlooked, "the Lord working 
with them." 

Here was an advance even beyond the power 
of the Master's reappearance among the disciples. 
The Lord was still present with those who be- 
lieved and went forth to proclaim the glad tidings 
with faith that practical benefits would follow 
among the suffering, and it was because He 
worked with them that the word was confirmed 
and the signs were added. This "word" which 
was confirmed was the glad tidings of the living 
Gospel. It was confirmed because the Lord 

With Signs Following 139 

worked with the faithful, and produced the "signs 

This teaching puts belief in an entirely different 
light. It is plainly not a question of what men 
proclaim with their lips. Nor does it turn upon 
what men accomplish in their own might. People 
have fundamentally misunderstood the Gospel 
who have been guided by the instruction of the 
churches concerning doctrines. The living Gospel 
which the Master taught and exemplified by 
works was essentially a gospel of works or signs 
following. It was so understood by the disciples. 
It was proclaimed and verified by the impressive 
works of which we read in the book of Acts. It 
was taught in this way by the Apostle Paul, de- 
spite the fact that he was also the first Christian 
theologian and was inclined to be doctrinal. And 
then little by little the original Gospel of immedi- 
ate deeds among the suffering was lost in the 
maze of doctrinal entanglements. 

Looking back to this last meeting of the eleven 
with the Master and trying to regain the lost clue, 
we realize that if the gospel of works shall have 
vital meaning for us there must be a way in which 
the Lord works with every genuine believer to- 
day so as to confirm the word with signs follow- 
ing. This promise is given in connection with all 
the evangelist has told us about the supremacy of 
the Spirit over material things. Death apparent- 

140 Spiritual Health and Healing 

ly made no difference then, and makes no differ- 
ence today. Time makes no difference. The 
ages that have come and gone have not separated 
us from the living Christ. The Lord working 
with us is still the power that accomplishes the 
signs that follow. We make a mistake if we al- 
low anything whatsoever to stand between us and 
the living Lord. 

Why is it that we should look for such signs 
following as the Gospels tell us about? Why 
has the theologizing world separated sin and sick- 
ness, and limited the work of the churches to the 
kind of preaching that is supposed to show salva- 
tion from sins merely? Why have we failed to 
understand the works recorded in the Gospels in 
which the healing of disease and the forgiving of 
sins are brought into intimate relation? 

Because, for one thing, we have failed to trace 
out either sin or sickness to its interior sources. 
The word translated "sin" in the Gospels means 
error or mistake, and comes from a verb signify- 
ing to miss the mark, that is, fail of doing, fail of 
one's purpose. To hit the mark would be to real- 
ize one's purpose, do one's work in the world con- 
structively. Hence the Master summoned men 
and women to be whole, to be their true full selves. 
What does it mean to be sick? In the passage in 
which Jesus said, "They that are whole need not 
a physician; but they that are sick," the word 

With Signs Following 141 

rendered "sick" is from a term meaning "to cause 
evil," of a bad quality or disposition. Evidently 
the reference is to the mode of life which under- 
lies sickness, the imier state with which the outer 
is in correspondence. Immediately after saying 
that it was the sick who had need of him, Jesus 
said, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners 
to repentance." Righteousness is justice, integ- 
rity, wholeness of life; it is hitting the mark. 
Sickness is due to any quality in the disposition 
which keeps one from attaining this wholeness. 
The power of the Lord working with us to con- 
firm the word with signs following is the power 
which seeks to make men whole, whether their 
lack of integrity is called sin or sickness. Whole- 
ness is a positive consideration. 

What kind of sign should we look for, there- 
fore, among those who believe as the Gospels 
would have men believe? Plainly, that kind of 
life out of which righteousness or health would 
spring as a consequence, instead of sin and sick- 
ness. The human spirit is made for integrity or 
wholeness. It has power to hit the mark, to real- 
ize life's purpose. Our thought should be given 
to the conditions which favor such wholeness, we 
should look for power in this direction. The Lord 
is working with us in this endeavor. 

We have been taking our clues from the sorrow 
and misery, the sin and suffering of the world. 

142 Spiritual Health and Healing 

We have judged the human spirit by its failures, 
by unfortunate inheritances, by external environ- 
ment with its sinful influences. But this is wrong. 
We should think and will and work in the vine- 
yard of the Lord with the divine standard of 
health or wholeness in mind. It is those who 
lack the ideal of this wholeness to whom the 
Gospel comes especially, calling them to turn 
about (repent) and look towards the light. The 
Gospel is not a mere corrective of our errors, not 
a mere plan of salvation. It discloses the true 
positive plan of living. This plan implies the 
supremacy of the Spirit over material things. 
That is, it leads us to the great truth that all real 
causality is spiritual, that we live and work from 
the spiritual world, the Lord working with us. 

What does the power of the living Christ with- 
in us endeavor to achieve? To touch anything 
in our disposition, such as a tendency to rebel, 
look on the dark side, work for our own selfish 
interest, or work against our rivals, so that this 
lesser activity shall be enlarged into the greater 
and become constructive. To shake us out of 
our apathy and self -righteousness, our mere con- 
tentment when things are moving as we would 
like them whether other people suffer or not. To 
call us into the active service of spreading the glad 
news for those who believe. To quicken us out of 
our hypocrisy and every other form of two-fold- 

With Signs Following 143 

ness into true unity within the self, unity between 
head and heart, the understanding and the will. 
To prompt our hearts to change from self-love 
and love for the world to love of God and our f el- 
lowmen. To lead us into the true life of charity 
which is the real sign that we profoundly believe 
and expect the signs following. 

But why do these states which we are sum- 
moned out of underlie both sin and sickness? Be- 
cause he who is in them is untrue to the divine 
standard of unity or wholeness. He who is a 
hypocrite, for example, who is working under- 
handedly for his own interest while seeming to be 
virtuous, who strives to serve two masters, is in 
interior conflict, and such conflict is sickness or 
sin. It shows itself outwardly in a thousand dif- 
ferent ways with as many individuals. The in- 
dividual is beset within and around by those 
forces which his inner conflict invites. The out- 
ward life manifests by correspondence the inner 
struggle. It is marked in the face, or in the voice. 
It is expressed in daily conduct, with its subtleties 
and compromises. It affects the nervous system, 
and consequently the bodily activity in general. 
The house thus divided against itself tends to fall. 
It is repaired and propped up, painted other 
colors and in various ways disguised. But still 
it remains the same house. Some onlookers ad- 
vise changed here. Others suggest modifications 

144 Spiritual Health and Healing 

there. The external signs or defects appear to 
be the real trouble. But the real trouble is hidden 
far within and for that there is no lasting remedy 
save through becoming a house at harmony with 
itself — unified, stable, constant. 

We are apt to think that the inner pain or 
struggle is due to some hostile force striving with 
us, as a germ might play havoc with disordered 
tissues or a devil insinuate sly temptations. It 
is great glad news indeed that there is no other 
life or power in the world plotting and work- 
ing against man, whatever the appearance and 
secondary struggles, but only the force of his 
own self-love reinforced by the self-love of others 
ignorantly and foolishly laboring against man's 
own better self, producing out of this inner con- 
flict the whole trouble of the house divided 
against itself. For with this discovery comes the 
knowledge that conflict can be changed into har- 
mony through turning about and working with 
the power once opposed. The living Lord is with 
those who believe in the sense in which the Gos- 
pels teach belief: to bring about just this marvel- 
lous sign following, thus turning a state of war 
into a state of peace so that the supposed enemy 
is seen not to exist at all. 

It seems almost unbelievable at first, that our 
real foes are those of our own household and that 
they may one and all be turned into friends. Our 

With Signs Following 145 

conflicts are so real to us and our struggles often 
so intense that we appear to be mere victims of 
outward things, as if we were supremely inno- 
cent. We do indeed take on by inheritance and 
from the influences coming from the world those 
conditions which outwardly speaking give us our 
experience. Thus, for example, the world readi- 
ly contributes to the cantankerous person things 
enough to be cantankerous about. It is not slow 
in helping the pessimist to find facts to judge in 
the darkest light. He who -has a chip on his 
shoulder will find other fighters ready for him. 
The world seems no better to any one of us than 
we are ourselves. No one can complain that 
things are not what they appear to be, for the 
human mind is so constituted as to let the inner 
state color the world according to its kind. The 
world corresponds in marvellous degree, even to 
our fluctuating moods. If we persist in putting 
the blame on people and things, on God and 
this splendid universe wherein we live, why then 
the world will gratify us in our delusion. But 
there is only one thing to consider after all, and 
that is our own state of development with the 
fears it brings, its illusions, its errors, hardships 
and miseries. There can be no relief save 
through a change within, since this is the very 
nature of life, the law of experience. There is 
no mystery, surely nothing to complain about; 

146 Spiritual Health and Healing 

simply the glad news that the key to the whole 
solution is within ourselves, that the living Lord 
holds this key with outstretched hand saying, 
"Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy 
laden, and I will give you rest." 

What is it that we need rest from? Is it from 
ourselves? No, from the inner struggle which we 
make by going counter to our nature. The nat- 
ure of man is to find his place in the Grand Man, 
in the social order in which all who love the Lord 
and their fellow men are "members one of an- 
other." The nature of man is to do a specific 
work in the world, to be contributory, to co- 
operate, live and let live, give full measure run- 
ning over in his desire to serve. The right atti- 
tude to take toward our fellow men is to see this 
tendency toward co-operative service and mutual 
love working its way out into expression. The 
living Lord is with every one whom we would 
help to accomplish just this purpose. That is 
the great consideration when disciples are sent 
forth to proclaim the glad news, with signs fol- 

Are we able, in the first place, to see the sig- 
nificance of the word which shall be confirmed by 
the signs following? It means a radical change 
in our thinking for most of us. Our whole habit 
of thought tends toward emphasis on things, on 
outward conditions. We say, "human nature can- 

With Signs Following 147 

not be changed," meaning by "human nature" all 
the sinfulness and criminality, all the selfishness 
of the world. We say this is impossible. We 
must take the world as it is. It is full of selfish- 
ness and sorrow, and all we can do is to 'look out 
for Number One." Over against this scepticism 
the Gospel gives its amazing promises: With 
man such things are impossible, but not with God. 
"All things are possible to him that believeth." 
Only believe. Have faith. It shall then be pos- 
sible even to move mountains. To be saved 
through belief is to be lifted out of this scepti- 
cal attitude into alert expectancy which encour- 
ages us to look for the signs following. Such 
belief is "in His name." It comes with the prom- 
ise of the spirit of truth present with us to lead 
us into all truth. It comes with the impetus to 
go forth into all the world and proclaim with con- 
viction this glad news. Then the Lord will work 
with us to achieve results which apparently 
were utterly impossible. Material things will no 
longer seem to be obstacles in our path. What 
seemed like a deadly thing will not now prove so. 
Our hands shall be imbued with power. We will 
speak with new tongues. All these signs shall 
come to those who believe whole-heartedly in such 
a way as to look for benefits coming to others, not 
the private joys supposedly vouchsafed to the 

148 Spiritual Health and Healing 

"saved." This is salvation and very much more. 
It follows the resurrection of man's true self. It 
is the triumph of the Holy Spirit in us, the work 
of the ever-living Christ. 



Many devotees of mental healing believe there 
is a short cut to the curing of disease through 
the practice of denials. The word "denial" is 
not to be understood in the Christian sense of 
self-denial, losing the self that one may find it, 
but in the sense of a declaration that any alleged 
enemy, error or evil does not exist. The first 
proposition about life in general is, "All is good," 
and the next, "There is no evil." Radical believ- 
ers in this method deny even the existence of the 
body and the natural world. While on the face 
of it such denials seem absurd, we may well ask 
ourselves what is the value of this method from 
a practical point of view. 

The theoretical basis of these denials is as fol- 
lows. Man has two selves or minds, the spirit 
which is never sick, which never sins or errs ; and 
"mortal mind" or the consciousness of error, the 
intellect or false mind, always in process of 
change, essentially external and dependent on 
information gathered through the physical senses. 
These senses are discounted as giving misinfor- 
mation merely, since "there is no intelligence in 


150 Spiritual Health and Healing 

matter." It is in this false or mortal mind that 
all error resides. Disease, being an "error of 
mind/' its cure consists in denying not only its 
alleged power over the flesh but even its ex- 

The use of denials is that one may realize "our 
oneness with God." Otherwise stated, denials 
are for the sake of affirming the reality of the 
true self, which is pure spirit, never afraid, never 
disturbed, never selfish, never at fault. In case 
of any alleged material force, any cause for fear, 
any supposed selfishness, one should positively 
and persistently deny its power, reality or exist- 
ence. One should deny the existence of all evil, 
because there is but one Power in the universe 
and that Power is wholly good, and "all is good." 
One should deny the reality of all pain, sickness, 
poverty, old age, suffering, even the reality of 
death; since these have no existence in Spirit. 
One ought also to deny the existence of all things 
which appear to be apart from Spirit, for only 
Spirit and its manifestations exist. To deny is to 
efface, blot out the mental pictures, banish the 
fear> take the life out of adverse suggestions by a 
counter-suggestion, and overcome all "paralyz- 
ing negations." To deny the evil is to affirm the 
good. To deny pain and sickness is to affirm 
health. To deny weakness is to realize strength. 
To deny poverty is to affirm prosperity. 

The Value of Denials 151 

By denying the reality of what seems to exist 
to mortal sight one realizes what eternally exists, 
the unchangeable reality of Spirit. It is all a 
question of realization, not of growth. There is 
no evolution or progressive change from lower 
to higher stages. Man does not learn anything 
from experience, but already is in deepest truth 
what he seems to acquire. All ills are imaginary. 
There is no reason for learning from experience, 
since man contains all wisdom within. Man al- 
ready possesses perfect love and peace. Hence 
he may unqualifiedly say, "I am spirit, perfect, 
harmonious, wise, in perfect health, in perfect 

Life on this basis would be "the constant re- 
cognition throughout the day of the non-reality 
of the material, knowing that as it is not real, the 
material man cannot do anything, say anything 
or think anything; that it is only illusion, appear- 
ance having no basis in reality, and that the only 
thing that takes place is the steady disappear- 
ance of this illusionary sense through the action 
of God." "When you see someone in pain, in- 
stead of thinking of him as in pain and so increas- 
ing it, turn in thought to heaven and realize that 
there is no such thing as pain there, and then 
think of the absolute joy, bliss and happiness in 
that perfect world." 

The first observation to be made is that healers 

152 Spiritual Health and Healing 

who have adopted these denials have often met 
with more immediate success than other thera- 
peutists who raise objections to denials on the 
ground that they are not true. Outwardly such 
healers are very prosperous. Their business ar- 
rangements are uncommonly good. They are 
highly contented with the commodities and in- 
comes of the material world. Not concerned 
with the inconsistencies of their several proposi- 
tions in contrast with their delight in this world's 
goods, they concentrate upon those suggestions 
which bring the most fruitful results. Psycho- 
logically speaking there is a great advantage in 
concentration. To hold absolutely to your point 
is to succeed where people fail who lose headway 
when interested in noting what is inconsistent. 

We are all placed at times where denials are 
in order. When face to face with an enemy 
likely to conquer us if we are not uncommonly 
skilful and alert, we must resolutely declare 
that he cannot, must not win. Thus a denial is a 
psychological device adopted for the time being 
to get us out of a tight place. A hard-pressed 
nation may even deny the victories which an 
enemy is winning, for the sake of keeping up the 
courage of the people at home. But the question 
is, What of the day of reckoning? Is it possible 
to use a denial for the moment, then return to 
facts and truths ? May one adopt denials for the 

The Value of Denials 153 

sake of concentration without giving the mind 
over to extravagances tending toward Oriental 
pantheism and the relegation of the natural uni- 
verse to the category of illusion? 

It was P. P. Quimby who introduced the dis- 
tinction between the "scientific man" with the 
wisdom of Christ to draw upon and the "man of 
opinions/' always changing, subject to errors, 
fears, and other false beliefs. Dr. Quimby's 
silent realization consisted in making a clear-cut 
separation between the two minds. All later 
disciples of the silent method have made an equiv- 
alent separation in their own terms. The mind 
that is swayed by opinions is the "carnal mind," 
and to be "carnally minded is death." It 
is this carnal-mindedness which Dr. Quimby 
sought to banish by affirming the reality of the 
truth which makes men free, the truth we possess 
when we have the mind of Christ. No one can 
make much headway in this field without drawing 
this distinction. 

Yet one ought to be intelligent enough to dis- 
tinguish between opinions and the understand- 
ing or intellect. The understanding can be hf ted 
into spiritual light and learn to think truly con- 
cerning the information the senses give us and 
the marvellous universe which God has made. 
There is no intelligible reason for ignoring the 
long series of progressive changes from simple 

154 Spieitual Health and Healing 

to complex, from atom to star, from amoeba to 
man, filled as this ascent is by the wisdom of 
God. Our part is to learn the order and beauty, 
the system and power of this great world of nat- 
ure as it exists in the divine purpose. Then it is 
our privilege to learn to live by the divine order 
in a useful manner, in constancy of health, with 
steadiness of purpose and productive courage. 

Whatever the reason for making denials as 
psychological aids to concentration, in the long 
run we are all compelled to meet life as it is on 
this natural plane. The truth which makes us 
permanently free is the truth which discloses nat- 
ural existence as it was meant to be for en- 
lightened man, the existence which makes for 
freedom and development, for health and happi- 
ness here on earth. The real error of our carnal 
mindedness is that the body is unfriendly, is a 
source of evil and misery, prone to disease, weak- 
ening old age and a lingering death. The truth 
as that man might live in perfect harmony with 
natural law, might use the body as an entirely 
harmonious instrument, might conquer every ob- 
stacle in the path. This is essentially a spiritual 
truth. One needs to lift the mind into spiritual 
light, to perceive it. For it is the spirit alone 
which is able to use the body aright. There is no 
reason to deny anything that God has made. The 
error to be denied, and that most resolutely, is 

The Value of Denials 155 

the old notion that God wants us to be sick, that 
He inflicts suffering upon us for our discipline. 
There are, then, denials which are true, and we 
all need to make them and most affirmatively. 
Yet all the while the ideal is to rise to the level 
of affirmations with such strength that we do not 
need to deny their opposites. "Perfect love 
casteth out fear." If you can realize the protect- 
ing power of that love, you need not deny the 
power of the fear. Later, when you are free and 
strong, you may return and learn the lesson of 
your fear. 

The same is true in the sphere of moral ideals. 
The more severely pressed the soldier "who 
fights the good fight" the less reason he has for 
admitting the power of evil. There can be no 
such word as fail in the moral world. We de- 
clare that all lying, stealing, dishonesty and 
wrong-doing shall be overcome, and that right- 
eousness shall prevail. Yet after all what is it 
that calls out a man's potentialities and makes 
him a hero in our eyes? Surely not a mere error. 
It is because he rises to meet a well-nigh in- 
superable difficulty. We grow strong by meet- 
ing opportunities which call us into activity to 
the full. Sometimes the more valiantly we admit 
the foe to be conquered the more resolutely we 
rise to the occasion which "makes the man." 

What the moral soldier affirms is that right is 

156 Spiritual Health and Healing 

on his side, a right strong enough to conquer any 
wrong whatsoever. He fights with his spirit. 
He first conquers the enemy in himself by facing 
his fears and the possibility of defeat. Then, 
made alert and affirmative, he goes forth to meet 
a danger which no denial can minimize but 
which must be faced to the end. At every junct- 
ure when tempted to weaken, he re-affirms the 
supremacy of the right and bravely presses for- 
ward. He cannot for a moment afford to enter- 
tain a weakening idea. 

Here we have concentration in high degree. 
Allowing for different conditions, we may think 
of this valiant moral attitude as applied in the 
inner world where it is a question of attaining 
health or healing others. One ought to be as 
valiant in holding to the Christ ideal as the moral 
soldier in fighting on the field of battle. For the 
healer it is a question of the victorious faith 
which pushes through to the end and overcomes 
every obstacle. 

It is a help in this connection to distinguish 
between lower and higher levels of mentality. 
On the lower level with the "mind of opinions" 
one sees "in a glass darkly." One is then sub- 
ject to mere reports, haunting fears, besetting 
illusions, misinterpretations. The worst of these 
is mistaking this body of flesh and blood for one- 
self. To be thus minded is indeed to be in danger 

The Value of Denials 157 

of spiritual death. On the higher level one seeks 
to think with the mind of Christ, to live in perfect 
peace and love, realizing that the soul is a "son of 
Spirit." The knowledge gained on the higher 
level is insight "face to face/' a vision in which 
we see the same things but see them as they are. 

To disconnect from the activities of the lower 
level and open the spirit on the higher is to find 
oneself in another realm of thought. The change 
from the one to the other is sufficient in itself to 
set higher activities in motion. For it is a dy- 
namic change. It opens the spirit to the divine 
influx of love and wisdom. It is man who makes 
the change. It is God who "giveth the increase." 
Life "on a purely spiritual basis/' then, would be 
in unison with God, wherever one might be led, 
whatever the work given our hands to do. When 
"God and one make a majority" we need no 
longer deny what is to be overcome. For we now 
function on the level of constructive forces. 

It is plain of course that few of us are open as 
we might be on the higher level. Most of us are 
placed where it is better to admit that we are not 
as responsive as we might be to the incoming 
divine life, and then ask what needs to be over- 
come. The whole secret for us to learn is interior 
openness and responsiveness, recovery of the 
open vision which will disclose divine truth. In 
so far as we are open within and the channels of 

158 Spiritual Health and Healing 

our being are kept open even from the inmost 
centre to the*outermost parts of the body, we are 
in perfect health, able to function as free spiritual 

A denial, then, is a practical device needed 
when we are not sufficiently affirmative. A man 
might, for example, deny evil reports concerning 
himself, defending himself by arguments, until 
he realizes that no man need contend with un- 
righteous judgments but may put his whole re- 
liance on what is true. A person may deny the 
supposed power of an illness that is attacking 
him, since he is determined to be well. But later 
he may learn to unite in thought with the power 
of God making for health. Later still, his ideal 
may be to live so that he may let all external 
circumstances take care of themselves in God's 
own time. The real point is that external things 
are occasions simply, while real causes are spir- 
itual: The occasion will make or unmake the 
man according to his way of meeting it. The 
opportunity will be a blessing or a curse. Every 
occasion meant for our betterment may serve to 
call us into productive activity, if we meet it with 
wisdom concerning our true place and service 
in the world. All opportunities are blessings 
in God's eyes. We have the power to unite our 
hearts to make them blessings. Everything de- 
pends on becoming affirmative. Our affirmations 

The Value or Denials 159 

will become more intelligent as we proceed. 
What would they be if we habitually had the 
mind of Christ, instead of fluctuating between 
things carnal and things spiritual? 



In another chapter we noted certain of Swe- 
denborg's teachings which point very directly to 
the theory of spiritual healing. Indeed, there are 
several lines of resemblance between the doc- 
trines of the great Swedish seer and the modern 
therapeutic movement. The intimate relation- 
ship was quickly noted by W. F. Evans, some- 
time Swedenborgian minister, when he visited 
Dr. Quimby as a patient in Portland, in 1863. 1 
Mr. Evans's books were widely read by early 
leaders of the new therapeutism, and so there was 
a commingling of ideas derived from Quimby and 
from Swedenborg. The theory, for example, that 
there is precise correspondence or relationship 
between spiritual states and natural conditions is 
due to this commingling. Swedenborg teaches 
that there is an influx of spiritual life into the 
human soul, and that our spiritual life is con- 
ditioned by our response to this inflowing of 
power from heavenly sources. He also teaches 
that many diseases have spiritual causes, and that 

i See "A History of the New Thought Movement," Chap. IV. 


Spikitual Influx 161 

salvation from our ills would ensue if we would 
acknowledge the Divine inflow in such a way as 
to prepare for genuine regeneration. To the 
believer in spiritual healing it is but one step 
further to incorporate this theory of the heavenly 
influx into the practical teaching known as the 
New Thought. Hence the new therapeutists are 
surprised when Swedenborgians fail to apply 
their teaching in this way. 

But to his strict followers Swedenborg seems 
to be primarily a theologian. Everything in his 
system turns upon his doctrine of the Lord, the 
relation of this doctrine to the spiritual inter- 
pretation of the Bible, and "the life of charity" 
which ought to ensue as a result of this accept- 
ance of true doctrine. Hence the prevailing in- 
terest is in salvation or regeneration, regarded 
as superior in importance to "healing." It is the 
New Church which should assimilate the New 
Thought, not the other way. Moreover, Sweden- 
borg teaches that the Lord approves of our use 
of natural means in the treatment of disease, and 
this is taken to mean the use of medicine and 
reliance on physicians. This is why the New 
Churchman of the doctrinal type turns as readily 
to medical practice as if he were not a believer in 
the Divine influx. 

The apparent points of contact become radical 
points of difference, when we compare the views 

162 Spiritual Health and Healing 

of the typical New Thought devotee with those 
of the typical Swedenborgian. Where, for ex- 
ample, the disciple of the New Thought would 
harmonize contrasts the Swedenborgian would 
strengthen them. Practically everything turns 
upon the interpretation of Swedenborg's teach- 
ing concerning the nearness of the spiritual world 
to the natural, the theory of "discrete degrees," 
and the doctrine of contiguity. 

In his "Divine Love and Wisdom" Sweden- 
borg teaches that while the spiritual world is in- 
deed intimately related with natural things this 
intimacy is not the relationship of continuity, as 
the doctrine of spiritual influx would seem to 
suggest, for this would mean unbroken inflow 
from the spiritual world into the natural ; but is 
the relationship of "contiguity," or the nearness 
of things fundamentally unlike. There is a dis- 
crete difference between spiritual and natural 
things. Real causes are spiritual, natural events 
are effects. There is no interfusion or blending. 
The same is true of God and man, the Lord 
Jesus and man. Consequently every comparison 
should be made clear and distinct. It is especially 
important to guard against mysticism or panthe- 
ism, that is, any teaching which lessens distinc- 
tions between God and man, or in any way com- 
promises the doctrine of the Lord. This explains 
why any teaching not founded on the true doc- 

Spiritual Influx 163 

trine of the Lord seems to a Swedenborgian a 
"falsity." To advocate spiritual healing by iden- 
tifying oneself with Christ, or by regarding the 
human self as a "part of God," would be to err 
in the very beginning. Any theory or method 
founded on a "false premise" must itself be false. 

It may be seriously questioned, however, wheth- 
er a mode of inference which so easily dismisses 
a teaching that has brought incalculable good to 
thousands of people is fair either to the new 
therapeutism or to Swedenborg. The literal dis- 
ciple of Swedenborg, making over-much of the 
theory of discrete degrees, emphasizes the fact 
that man is merely a "receptacle" of life. Hence 
he tends to rear doctrinal barriers where Sweden- 
borg would have called attention to the mode of 
life incumbent upon all who know the glorious 
truth that man receives "life from the Lord." 

We must admit of course that God is the only 
giver of life. It is plain also that to regard man 
as a receptacle of Divine life is very different 
from affirming that the higher self is Divine, that 
man is "one with God," that each of us can be- 
come "the Christ;" for from a New Churchman's 
point of view the whole question is how, given 
our alienation from the Lord, we can attain uni- 
son of will with Him, and there is no advantage 
in merely affirming what we have yet to achieve. 
The New Thought devotee appears to attribute 

164 Spiritual Health and Healing 

the efficiency to man. But Swedenborg teaches 
that to "look above oneself is to be lifted up by 
the Lord ; for no one can look above himself, un- 
less he is lifted up by Him who is above." Yet 
when we have noted all these considerations, it 
may well be that despite doctrinal divergences 
there are impressive points of resemblance and 

Swedenborg teaches that man as he was cre- 
ated might have remained wholly open to the 
heavenly influx, without disease and without sin. 
The crucial question then is, Why did man lose 
his pristine privilege? What may he do to regain 
it? To learn Swedenborg' s answer is to find that 
the dark picture of man's sins and the hells to 
which they correspond is not so dark as it seems. 
For man was created in the Divine image and 
likeness, this is still the ideal put before man for 
attainment. To deny the ignorance into which 
we are born and the darkness in which we find 
ourselves is not to find the wisdom that we need. 
But granted fundamental awareness of our act- 
ual situation, our great concern is with the 
wonderful opportunity put before us here in this 
natural world. Here is the ideal place to meet 
life fairly and squarely, overlooking nothing, 
never ignoring the conditions in which we are 
placed. To look at life courageously and "see it 
whole" is to realize that each of us has a prevail- 

Spiritual Influx 165 

ing love which for better or worse is steadily 
shaping our future. It is what we love that de- 
termines our thinking and our life, not what we 
"affirm." Never till we rightly love can we be- 
come intelligently open to the Divine influx. 
Surely, no follower of the New Thought can dis- 
pute this, and if he sees it he has gained new 
insight into spiritual healing. 

Nor can it be disputed that there is a radical 
difference between love for self and the world, 
and love toward our fellow men through love to 
the Lord. While in this world we are held in 
equilibrium between these two types of affection 
— until we choose once for all. Hence most of 
us are subject to an inner conflict which, when 
all has been said, is the real trouble w r ith us. We 
are one and all at some stage in this conflict. We 
all know there are two voices, and we are strug- 
gling, wavering, or choosing between them. No 
relief comes to us through self-condemnation. 
None comes by blaming our neighbors and the 
world. We may enter into and pass out of many 
of our tribulations and diseases — whatever views 
we may hold regarding disease and its cure — 
and still find this state of affairs pressing upon 
us for solution. Whether we will or no, we must 
admit that this, the problem of "salvation," is 
deeper than 'any mere question of health, al- 
though our health is intimately connected with 

166 Spiritual Health and Healing 

the will. What would bring real freedom, we 
must indeed agree, would be fundamental en- 
lightenment concerning the true unity of head 
and heart, a "marriage," as Swedenborg calls it, 
between the understanding and the will; and 
everything he says on this subject is of vital im- 
portance for the believer in spiritual healing. 
For what we need is to be lifted out of this state 
of tension in which we have turned possible bless- 
ings into curses, that we may be guided into 
true co-operation with the Divine life — with the 
Lord's help. The whole meaning of the Divine 
providence, Swedenborg insists, is that man shall 
be led out of his ignorance and sin through succes- 
sive states of repentance, reformation, and re- 
generation into constancy of spirit. To do his 
part man must acknowledge his sins as sins 
against the Lord, and must acknowledge the one 
true Lord. 

Since man's diseases and sins correspond to his 
interior love or spiritual states, there can be no 
freedom till these states are changed. Man's sins 
and diseases pertain to his life, and if that life is 
covetous, selfish, self-seeking, until the life is re- 
generated there can be no true healing. Man 
will not change his thoughts or outward life un- 
til his love changes. When he begins to love 
spiritual things with devoted or constant love he 
will find every helpful influence in the world com- 

Spiritual Influx 167 

ing to him. No device will ever succeed in con- 
cealing man's actual self — as if he could somehow 
avoid facing himself, avoid repenting and coming 
to judgment. 

Despite his suggestive statement about the 
possibility of human openness to Divine life and 
what such receptivity would mean in relation to 
health, Swedenborg does not however draw the 
inference that man might recover this responsive- 
ness and apply it to the healing of disease. Swe- 
denborg does not teach any method by which a 
man might put his spirit into a certain attitude 
to appropriate and utilize the life which enters 
the spirit from within. He assures us that the 
mind rules the body by influx, that the body is 
"mere obedience," and so he seems on the point 
of saying that man should cultivate the poise 
and inner control which are essential to intelli- 
gent use of the bodily instrument; but he does 
not touch on these matters. He has nothing to 
say about "the power of thought" as mental 
healers employ it. He does not emphasize the 
importance of mental attitudes, nor teach the art 
of "attracting success." He has little to say 
about the imagination and almost nothing about 
the emotions or the effects they produce. Nor 
does he write about ideals and the need of affirm- 
ing them. He makes no reference to the sub- 
conscious mind as the term is now used, although 

168 Spiritual Health and Healing 

he approaches modern physiological psychology 
at various points. 

Indeed, his emphasis is never put on any 
method employed by man for his betterment. 
Man of his own volition is said to be tending 
toward the hell of self-love, and the Divine love 
alone can bring salvation from this natural ten- 
dency toward the hells. What is needed is the 
doctrine which acquaints man with the subtle 
influences to which he is subject when withdrawn 
from the hells through the ministry of angels. 

The reason for this apparent neglect of the 
methods so much in vogue among mental healers 
is that Swedenborg sees no salvation for man 
save by admitting sins as sins, not as "errors" or 
illusions. Man has no power of his own to over- 
come temptations, but may be lifted above them 
by the Lord's help when he is willing. Man 
needs to realize his own weakness and unregen- 
eracy, needs to see that there is a discrete differ- 
ence between himself and the Lord who would 
save him. 

One sees why most followers of Swedenborg 
have been highly doctrinal in type. The relation- 
ship with the Lord is interpreted in a beautiful 
way, so far as life in general is concerned ; hence 
the nobility of spirit everywhere attributed to 
Swedenborgians. The emphasis put on "the life 
of charity" or service according to Divine pre- 

Spiritual Influx 169 

cepts has always led them to make steady effort 
to live by their doctrines. But if asked why they 
do not connect this beauty of spirit with healing 
for the body, they would point out not only the 
need for regeneration as above indicated but the 
fact that there is a break in the correspondences 
to which man is subject. Man by taking on he- 
reditary evils comes into the world handicapped. 
Moreover, man through external influx is open 
to tendencies making for disease and evil through 
his contact with the world. From this compro- 
mised state of things, namely, the conflict be- 
tween the influxes, there is no escape through any 
method of healing. While, therefore, the Swe- 
denborgian does indeed believe in the Divine in- 
flux with respect to conduct, that is, in the inner 
life, he finds himself surrounded by a natural 
environment and a natural inheritance which may 
be radically unlike his inner state and needs. 
Where the disciple of the New Thought sees 
favorable relationships or correspondences only, 
and affirms that heredity can be overcome and 
circumstance conquered, the New Churchman 
points out that there is not necessarily a condition 
of harmony between inner state and outward 
condition. Consequently he does not anticipate 
healing or escape from material conditions. 

A few of Swedenborg's readers, however, in- 
terested to find those principles which so quickly 

170 Spiritual Health and Healing 

led Mr. Evans to espouse Quimby's theory and 
method of spiritual healing, have indicated what 
to them is a more practical way of accepting the 
idea of the Divine influx. It is pointed out that 
as all causes are spiritual, as natural things have 
no life or power, the relationship of the spiritual 
to the natural is "dynamic." The Divine influx 
then is the real causal efficiency in the world, 
whatever the degree of difference between the 
spiritual world and the natural. It accomplishes 
its results despite the contrasts. It attains its 
ends with man too. It is a real, a vital inflow. 
Hence we should not emphasize the mere near- 
ness of the spiritual world, pointing to the dif- 
ferences and contrasts; but call attention to the 
great truth that man lives, moves, and has his 
being in and from this influent Divine life. 

Why then should we always dwell on the fact 
that man is a "receptacle" of life? The result 
might be mere acquiescence on our part. What 
if we emphasize the dynamic character of the 
Divine influx, seek to unite with it and become 
affirmative, in co-operative response to the Divine 
love and wisdom? Indeed, Swedenborg teaches 
that although man has no life or power of his 
own he should act "as if" all the power were his 
— while inwardly acknowledging that it is the 
Lord's. This would mean that man should 
actively respond to, assimilate and express the 

Spieitual Influx 171 

life which comes as love and wisdom. What is 
needed is a method of realization which will en- 
able man to become a genuinely efficient "organ 
of life." This efficiency ought to be more prac- 
tically attained on Swedenborg's basis then on 
the New Thought basis. For Swedenborg's 
teaching is more explicit, that is, that the Divine 
life first touches the will or the affections, and 
then the understanding or intellect. This means 
that man more directly receives Divine love than 
Divine wisdom, that his will is closer than his 
thought. It is therefore plain that man must first 
modify his affections before he can rightly re- 
form his thinking. To begin by affirming or 
holding thoughts would be to put the cart before 
the horse. 

Granted this more interior knowledge of the 
human spirit, namely, that the life or love is 
prior to the thought, we are in a position to see the 
larger meaning of the theory of spiritual heal- 
ing. For in his development of this theory Dr. 
Quimby also emphasized the importance of 
knowing what the life is before one could rightly 
adjust the thoughts. Not primarily concerned 
with theological matters, Quimby approached 
the subject of man's relation to God in a purely 
practical waj^. Laying emphasis on the Divine 
presence as Wisdom adequate to meet all occa- 
sions and all needs, he acquired a method of 

172 Spiritual Health and Healing 

practical realization or silent spiritual healing, 
and used this method in the healing of disease 
because this was the work given him to do. He 
saw that healing included the life, and that it 
was necessary to change one's idea of God if the 
idea was ecclesiastical rather than practical; but 
his province was to make sure that people saw 
the connection between the Divine presence and 
healing, since this was the vital application of 
Christianity which the world had overlooked for 
eighteen hundred years. The method of realiz- 
ing the Divine presence which was original with 
him could be applied with equal value to man's 
life as a whole. 

It was in accord with our practical age that 
Quimby should bring the psychological elements 
of this realization into view. Quimby drew a 
fundamental distinction between the outer man 
or "man of opinions" and the inner mind which 
can know the Christ-truth. He believed that by 
absenting himself from the outward world with 
its opinions and errors, its notions about disease 
and suffering, one could unite in spirit with the 
Divine life ready at hand to guide the way to 
freedom. To enter vividly into realizations of 
the Divine presence is to banish every influence 
to which man is subject through opinion, includ- 
ing hereditary influences and those coming from 
the world. To "realize" is to become open to 

Spiritual Influx 173 

the Mind which never changes, whereas the mind 
of opinions is always changing. Quimby de- 
veloped these realizations into an effective 
method of silent or spiritual healing which ap- 
plied, as he believed, to all kinds of disease and 
trouble in the world. 

The question would then be, How may I put 
my spirit into the right attitude to receive Di- 
vine love and wisdom most effectively? Thus 
questioning one would find that the way to test 
any spiritual teaching is by the method of inner 
experience. In accordance with the modern spirit 
one would not judge even the scriptural works 
of healing by any doctrine, but one would be 
prompted by the endeavor to recover the lost 
methods of Christian healing. Thus one might 
make capital use of the idea that the Divine life 
enters the soul by influx, thence into the under- 
standing, which in turn may be "lifted into spir- 
itual light." One would then turn to the body 
with the expectation that its ills could be over- 
come through this inner response to influx. 

But what of the distinction between God and 
man? The answer is that the idea of discrete dif- 
ferences does indeed help us in doctrinal matters, 
but this idea should not keep us from putting 
primary emphasis on the love which unites and 
the wisdom which guides when man becomes 
truly receptive. The tendency of the incoming 

174 Spiritual Health and Healing 

life is to make us in very truth sound men and 
women in the image and likeness of God. It is 
this which we should dwell on, this we should rec- 
ognize, substituting the Divine idea for any other. 
This tendency is the basis of true spiritual heal- 
ing because it is the basis of spiritual life. Here 
is the clue to all real efficiency and the dynamic 

The objection to urging discrete differences, 
and the break in correspondences due to heredity 
and present relations to the world, is that when 
we have made all the requisite doctrinal qualifi- 
cations we are apt to stop there instead of press- 
ing forward to realize what the Divine presence 
vitally means. If we reduce man to a "recep- 
tacle," then leave him there, tied down by quali- 
fying doctrinal distinctions, impotent in thought, 
almost helpless in will, the prospect is indeed 
dark. Even the doctrine of the Lord might then 
remain an intellectual instrument merely. The 
modern spirit says, If you believe all efficiency 
is from the Lord, show this by living in accord- 
ance with Divine providence as vitalizing guid- 
ance today. It asks you vividly to realize what 
it means to attribute all love and wisdom to God, 
and to apply this realization to all problems. 
The person who concentrates upon the vital pre- 
sent realization is far more likely to show actual 

Spiritual Influx 175 

results than one who uses these ideas as doctrines 

If charged with exalting the human self un- 
duly, the practical devotee would say, "Whereas 
I was blind, now I see." I formerly lived in 
bondage to material things, now I have the ideal 
of the supremacy of the spirit. Once I believed 
that sickness, trouble, poverty, weakening old 
age and an untimely death were the lot of man; 
now I know that God intended man to be in good 
health, to increase in power and live a trium- 
phant life. I used to give way to negative atti- 
tudes, now I am learning to adopt the affirmative 
attitude in all things. Anyone can learn how to 
take this attitude. Everyone can draw on Di- 
vine sources at need. 

Mental healing devotees do not claim to be 
theologians. They leave believers in the new 
therapeutism free to think as they like about 
God, although steadily insisting that God dwells 
with man and that we may grow into "the mind 
of Christ." They sometimes verge strongly to- 
ward Oriental mysticism, but this is for the sake 
of making the Divine presence vivid. They some- 
times speak of man as a god, identifying the high- 
er self with Christ, but this is to encourage the 
individual to recognize his full privileges as a son 
of God. To condemn the teaching because its 
statements concerning God are not always satis- 

176 Spiritual Health and Healing 

factory in form would be to miss the fruits or 
"signs following" which are the real evidences of 
the power of this new movement. 

There is of course a difference between mental 
and spiritual healing,. but the latter is meant to 
include the new birth and the spiritual life. The 
view of the spiritual life thus emphasized is en- 
riched by the idea of the Divine influx. But as 
developed by therapeutists this view ordinarily 
has little to do with psychical experiences and 
visions. The idea of intuition or direct inner 
guidance is substituted for that of the Swe- 
denborgian theory of guidance through angels. 
Nothing is said about three classified heavens and 
three hells, since the new therapeutists anticipate 
endless progress in the future life, not a life that 
is determined once for all by our choice or pre- 
vailing love in this world. Consequently the 
practical worker parts company with the doc- 
trinaire, at all points responsive to the spirit of 
his age. But his study of the problems of spir- 
itual healing is always fostered by comparison 
with teachings which have points in common. 
Hence he is not disposed to be dogmatic or to 
claim that the account is closed. 

If the literal follower of Swedenborg is right, 
there is little to say in behalf of spiritual healing. 
But if it be permissible to interpret Swedenborg 
freely or liberally, then we may profit by the 

Spiritual Influx 177 

description of life which Swedenborg gives us 
and wholly assimilate his teaching concerning 
the Divine influx. Great good might come from 
interchange of ideas between New Thought 
people and Swedenborgians. The former need 
to discriminate more carefully, need light on the 
more difficult problems of salvation, need to ad- 
vance from mere healing to the ideal of the com- 
pletely spiritual life. But the Swedenborgians 
might well learn to overcome their fears, their 
bondage to medical practice, their blindness to 
the practical values of the Divine influx. Both 
groups of people belong to the new age, and 
that age is far larger than any doctrinal formu- 
lation lets us know. To read Swedenborg liter- 
ally is to miss the great value of his teaching. 
But to read him in the modern empirical spirit 
is to see that the true way to test what he taught 
is by endeavoring to live in accordance with it, 
by putting ourselves in dynamic relation with 
the Divine influx. 



We have now passed in review the method of 
denials and found a certain practical value in 
such denials. We have also found practical util- 
ity in the idea that love and wisdom are received 
by the human spirit through "influx." In the one 
case we have guarded against overdoing mere 
denials, since the ideal is to rise to a higher level 
of affirmativeness through union with the perfect 
love which casts out fear. In the other case we 
have observed that one should not overdo the 
idea of discrete differences between God and 
man, since doctrinal qualifications might mean 
loss of headway. The ideal is, a dynamic attitude 
making concentration steadily possible. There 
is a higher or synthetic attitude which includes 
the truth of the methods which we have been 
passing in review. This implies the intuitive 
method which Quimby's work with the sick dis- 
closed. For many of us this method is still an 
ideal to grow to through experience. But it is 
everything to have an ideal. 

If mere denial were enough, there would of 
course be no reason for inquiring into the origin 


The Intuitive Method 179 

of a man's trouble. If denials sufficed, all we 
would need would be a complete set of statements 
covering all cases. We might then proceed on 
the same theoretical basis with every person. We 
would never look to experience, for we would 
not expect to learn anything from it. We would 
not reason, having first condemned our God- 
given reason as foreign to spiritual thought. 

If, however, we wish to disabuse a patient's 
mind of its errors and their attendant conse- 
quences by leading the sufferer out of darkness 
into a light that abides, we should seek causes and 
endeavor to make explanations which really ex- 
plain. For we should be mindful of the fact that 
an error merely denied may come back, like a 
mistake in solving a mathematical problem which 
we do not understand. We know too that a 
mind which deceives itself by abstract proposi- 
tions must sooner or later come down to the con- 
crete. A denial used for practical purposes may 
be very serviceable. But "a philosophy of de- 
nial" is false. 

The patient is indeed a sufferer from "error." 
But the error is that of misinterpretation. There 
is no more reason for denying the thing inter- 
preted than for denying the existence of an ob- 
ject in the woods mistaken in the dusk for a bear. 
The courageous thing is to march straight up to 
the thing, see what it is, see what part of our 

180 Spiritual Health and Healing 

visual illusion had an objective basis, and what 
part was attributed to the object by the imagina- 
tion. Our fear and excitement disappear when we 
see precisely what is before us, namely, a harmless 
stump. We have learned something about the 
tendency of the mind to project its inferences in- 
to space. We can no more deny the reality of 
the external object than that of our own self. 
The illusion was as real as life itself while it 
lasted. It would have been a delusion only in. 
case there were no stump or other misinterpreted 

So in the case of any problem, sin, sickness, 
or trouble: complete freedom is found through 
the whole truth. The fact that we possess a higher 
self that is "never sick" is only one of the es- 
sential facts. It is a question of the right inter- 
pretation to be put upon the experiences of the 
self in its long progress into spiritual light. 

If, for example, I misjudge a painful sensation 
due to inward pressure which might be explained 
by indigestion and attribute my pain to a disor- 
dered heart, not to a disordered stomach, I pro- 
ceed to develop my misinterpretation according 
to my first error. I then entertain corresponding 
fears and other exciting emotions, enlarging 
upon my pain and describing my symptoms to 
other people. This is what Quimby calls "in- 
venting a disease." But if I had been able 

The Intuitive Method 181 

to trace the disturbance to its right source, physi- 
cally speaking, I should at least have avoided the 
initial error. I might then have proceeded to 
overcome the disturbance. But my indigestion 
might have been a mere expression of nervous 
tension and haste. Behind this there might have 
been one condition after another. At length I 
might come to the more interior state which was 
a prevailing cause of such disabilities. In any 
case very much depends on the opinion which I 
associate with my pain. There is a difference 
between removing the pain for the time being, 
for instance, by denying its power to cause dis- 
ease; and endeavoring to live from the higher 
level so as to avoid all troubles of this sort. 

The intuitive method consists in rendering the 
spirit interiorly open to the inner state in the 
patient, to discern the actual condition or cause, 
in contrast with its physical accompaniments. 
The inner state involves, for example, the per- 
son's attitude toward life, his way of taking 
events, his type of belief, the influence of his dis- 
position or temperament, the use or misuse of his 
spiritual power. Inasmuch as no two individuals 
are alike, it is necessary to gain the intuitive im- 
pression in each case. Since the patient's con- 
dition changes under treatment, there is reason 
for seeking fresh impressions from time to time. 
The implied conviction on the healer's part is 

182 Spiritual Health and Healing 

not merely that he possesses an interior suscep- 
tibility to such impressions as experience has 
tended to make him aware of, but also an interior 
openness to spiritual guidance. This guidance 
is an expression of the Divine wisdom for that 
occasion and that need. 

This way of seeking "the mind of Christ" is 
different from the one which assumes that we al- 
ready possess that perfect mind in actuality. For 
one sees that life is too rich in experiences to per- 
mit a knowledge of much of it at a time. There 
is progressive change. There is experience with 
its opportunities, the lessons it holds for us. 
There is also an influx of wisdom to meet the 
need and an influx of power to overcome the 
obstacle. In short, there is with the human 
spirit a movement tending to express itself in 
"fulness of life." We are all at some point in 
recognition of and response to that life — we who 
have at least learned not to rebel. The question 
is, What point? What is the next step? What 
should be the attitude toward the influent Life 
even now seeking to lead one in that step ? For 
unless there is change at the centre, in the life or 
conduct, there will be no real change elsewhere 
— whatever the denials. With the change at the 
centre, results are sure to follow. Perfect peace 
will always cast out fear. Light will always dis- 
pel darkness. 

The Intuitive Method 183 

Nevertheless, the intuitive method implies the 
same contrast between the higher level and the 
lower which is noted by those who give allegiance 
to denials. Were the healer merely to render his 
mind receptive to another's atmosphere, he might 
take on that atmosphere and be unfit for service. 
While seeking to know how the patient is situ- 
ated in his darkness, the healer must stand in the 
light, seeking "the wisdom of the situation." 
This wisdom should not merely dispel the tem- 
porary darkness but show the patient how to take 
the next step in spiritual development. It is in- 
tuition which yields this illuminating clue. The 
healer believes this insight to be God-sent, im- 
partial, of the nature of that spiritual truth which 
sets all men free. The objective is to make the 
sufferer acquainted with spiritual resources, that 
he too may seek the inner guidance which applies 
to the occasion. 

To be sure, the best way to accomplish the 
desired result with the patient, so far as the proc- 
ess known as silent treatment is concerned, is 
to concentrate upon the Divine ideal, to see the 
patient in spirit as sound, clean, open, free. Here 
we have affirmation or suggestion at its best. For 
the eye must be single to the ideal. There must 
be no compromise. Concentration is essential 
to dynamic faith. 

But the intuitive healer does not stop there. 

184 Spiritual Health and Healing 

The conversation which follows the treatment 
makes plain the causes so as to point the way to 
permanent freedom. Thus the educational work 
grow r s gradually out of the therapeutic work and 
in the end becomes more important. This in- 
volves an explanation of the principles implied 
in healing. The clue is taken from the actual 
needs of the patient as intuitively disclosed. The 
patient is taught to recognize and co-operate 
with the Divine influent life. He is taught more 
than mere realization, he is taught how to grow. 

If attainment were reduced to mere expression 
of what is "within/ 5 there would of course be no 
real place for aspiration. It is a question of 
pressing forward to the open vision. The right 
attitude having been attained, one ought in truth 
to grow into abundance and freedom. 

Mere affirmation might suffice if we were all 
alike, as mere "parts of God" as cogs are parts of 
a machine. But we are all different, and remark- 
ably so. We not only live a life in the world 
which distinguishes us from all others, but in the 
inner sanctuary we are still more unlike. The 
higher we ascend even to the level of the Divine 
purpose, the more true this is. The very reason 
for our being is found in the distinctive end to 
be achieved by and through us. Each of us has 
a work to do. The guidances that have come to 
us from the beginning have been given us for 

The Intuitive Method 185 

that work. Even our mistakes have taught us 
lessons. The whole meaning of the activity that 
stirs within us from stage to stage in life's jour- 
ney, and carries us forward from the present into 
the future, is just here. It is never a mere ques- 
tion of the guidance as such, as an insight pleas- 
ant to have, but of its relation to the needs of the 
hour in our adaptation to the world. Deny the 
lower half and you have no subject-matter for 

All our experiences are fitting us to do our 
individual work. We may seem far indeed from 
that work as we plod along, mistaking our bodies 
for ourselves, regarding heredity and environ- 
ment as the leading influences which shape us, 
meanwhile striving as we do for a living amidst 
materialistic competition. We may seem equally 
far from spiritual things when we are ill from 
diseases which appear to be bodily maladies and 
nothing more. But anon the intuition of some 
one gifted in spiritual healing may bring us a 
new insight. We may come to regard the spirit as 
the real man. We may see that spiritual influ- 
ences are real causes. We may learn that hered- 
ity and influences coming from the world can be 
thrown off. Then in time we may come to see 
the meaning of the long years of our bondage, 
may see that all our experiences can be turned to 

186 Spiritual Health and Healing 

The question, Where do we stand? is crucial 
because the same life which is opposed through 
ignorance is the Efficiency which will carry us 
forward to freedom and success. The ideal is to 
unite with the Divine guidance and move on 
apace with its rhythms, taking its way for our 
own, ready to go wherever the leadings shall 
guide. Each individual must learn this adjust- 
ment because no two are alike, no two are placed 
in precisely the same way. We need the train- 
ing appropriate to our work. 

The advantage of the intuitive mode of state- 
ment is that it can be true to all the facts and 
assign them all to the proper level in such a way 
as to grant full supremacy to the Divine ideal. 
Life teaches us that not one step can be omitted. 
We who are leaders are perfectly aware that 
this is true. We know that at times we have 
plodded, at times we have stumbled in the dark- 
ness. We learned by doing. We became strong 
through overcoming, never by ignoring. Some- 
times we had to pause, look about and get our 
bearings anew. Life itself developed a kind of 
composure and strength in us. Life has quick- 
ened us to see the whole situation in which we are 
placed. Its spontaneous deliverances have great- 
ly surpassed all utterances that we deliberately 
planned for. Why should we ask for anything 

The Intuitive Method 187 

less for those whose journeyings have not taken 
them so far? 

What we should in fact strive to attain, when 
we seek to be of the greatest service, is creative 
insight into native capacities and talents. The 
overcoming of diseases is incidental to this. The 
finding of a way out of sin is secondary. The 
conquering of poverty and bondage to material 
circumstance is secondary too. The primary con- 
sideration is a person's individuality, the work 
he can do, the guidance coming directly to him 
to lead him into that work. To learn this the 
central state of his life, to see what is in process, 
what is being disclosed, is to enter sympatheti- 
cally into his presence as a spirit. Intuitively 
speaking each of us is being quickened with just 
the guidance we need, as unaware of it as we may 
be. The Divine wisdom is latent in the present 
experience, even in its darkness. This imma- 
nent wisdom can be brought to the light. We can 
be of service in making people aware of this the 
real life-process. Thus the Divine creative work 
may be furthered through us. 

We all have something approaching this creat- 
ive insight in what we call heart-to-heart talks 
with people when it is given us to say the right 
word. Nonplussed and in eager quest of light, a 
friend will pour out the heart's sorrows and dis- 
appointments. We as listeners may be puzzled 

188 Spiritual Health and Healing 

at first, at a loss to know what to say. But pres- 
ently one statement will throw light on another, 
more light will begin to come, and we will see 
that our friend had all the elements of the longed- 
for wisdom but lacked their uniting clue. We 
are then led to put two and two together, to point 
to the end all along implied in the rough journey- 
ings, disclose the ideal immanent in the actual. 
Our insight shows the wisdom for the present 
need. It calls our friend into power by restor- 
ing confidence and yielding vision. Very likely 
at times in the conversation we speak better than 
we know. Speaking frankly, we tell plain truths, 
instead of qualifying them by polite language 
till all their force is gone. These truths stay with 
the friend and work for good. Then the guid- 
ance comes to him directly, mayhap in the silence 
of the night when the friend sees the wisdom that 
is above all human advice. 

The intuitive healer goes further than this by 
directly opening his spirit, by talking from spirit 
to spirit in that language which the heart knows. 
He could not thus give his spirit to be a means 
of guidance to another soul if he intruded any 
abstract theories of his own. He opens his spirit 
intuitively afresh, never knowing what may come. 
He is ready for any guidance, old or new, ex- 
pected or surprising. His own thought or feel- 
ing may be a witness of the Spirit, but he does 

The Intuitive Method 189 

not claim that he himself is infinite Spirit. He 
seeks reciprocal union with God, not mere blend- 
ing with Him. He hopes to be a messenger of 
"the light of Christ in the soul." He does not 
pretend to be the Saviour of men. That light is 
indeed the one w r hich will disperse all darkness, 
when the right time comes, but it is not a light to 
be turned on in full force at will as one might 
illuminate a room by merely pressing a button. 
The light that shines will be the light needed for 
the occasion. It will increase and increase with- 
out limit. 

It once more becomes plain, therefore, that 
everything depends upon the end we seek, upon 
what we primarily love. If we still love self and 
worldly power above the "things of the spirit/' 
then we attribute our efficiency as healers to 
Thought, we claim everything for the higher 
self as one with God or a part of Him, we claim 
the whole end of the spiritual life as achieved 
now, and we affirm our self-complacent iden- 
tity with the Christ. We then proceed from one 
affirmation to another, according to the need. 
We enter "the silence" to enjoy its gratifying re- 
pose and declare our prosperity. In short, we 
practically make a god of Thought. But if we 
have genuine love of the Lord in our hearts, then 
we attribute the efficiency to the Divine presence 
as love and wisdom, and in our higher selfhood 

190 Spiritual Health and Healing 

we aspire, we pray, seeking to be led by the "mind 
of Christ." That is, we desire to grow in in- 
tuition through response to Divine wisdom, and 
it would be absurd to try to grow unless we were 
actually aware of a deficiency. When at last 
we realize how little insight we possess and how 
great is the need to grow in intuition, then indeed 
there is hope for us. 

The intuitive method is the larger, inclusive 
method which we grow into after a time when we 
realize the limitations of all methods centring 
about the human self. The whole idea of intuition 
involves the thought of the Divine presence as its 
source, the realization that life is a process or 
growth and that there is need of guidance all the 
way along. While the human self seems all-suf- 
ficient, it seems possible to ignore life or expe- 
rience as if it were an illusion. Hence we tend 
to say with the mere abstract theorist, "Man 
never learns from experience." But when we 
return to life and see that man never learned 
anything whatsoever except through experience, 
then we begin to acquire that true humility 
which is the beginning of wisdom, we pray 
to be rightly led, we accept the dynamic or pro- 
gressive attitude, casting aside our static ab- 
stractions. With this change of heart, a recon- 
struction of our philosophy follows. Our prayer 
henceforth is for the wisdom needed for the next 

The Intuitive Method 191 

step. We have no formula to fit the occasion. 
We have no cut-and-dried method. We do not 
crystallize our theory into a thought to be af- 
firmed by all alike at a given hour, throughout 
the month. But we endeavor to lead all who are 
responsive to seek that Presence whose wisdom 
is equal to every occasion, well knowing that no 
two people have precisely the same needs at the 
same time. "There is guidance for each one of 
us, and by lowly listening we shall hear the right 



Success used to be regarded as a question of 
conditions and things in the world around. It 
was frequently said to be a matter of money 
alone. We were told that "nothing succeeds like 
success/' and that "business is business," as much 
as to say, the end justifies any means we may 
see fit to adopt. 

Many people may still be inclined to believe 
that this is the ruling motive, inasmuch as the 
profiteer is constantly mentioned in the public 
press. Yet success has become largely psycho- 
logical, and profiteering itself depends on the 
popular mind. There is no longer success in 
general. The man himself is the greatest factor: 
his starting-point, the obstacles he has to over- 
come, the methods he has employed, the services 
rendered, the motives which prompted him. 
What we long for is success that befits us as 
men and women, according to our type and the 
kind of work we choose. We desire success that 
endures, that makes us free and independent. 
Such success presupposes the art of life. It is for 


Spiritual Success 193 

all who are eager and thoughtful. Success may 
spring from any conceivable beginning, in any 

Success must of course include adaptation to 
the world in so far as we are led to co-operate 
with people where they are. We always measure 
success in part by wage-earning power. We still 
speak of men who have not "made good/' when 
no financial rewards are forthcoming. But we 
can no longer single men out as representatives 
of what we mean by success merely because they 
have made money. Success is manifold, and we 
judge by varied standards according to our inter- 
est in life. The Salvation Army has faithfully 
informed the world that "a man may be down, 
but he's never out." Mere failure is not a test. 
"It is what man would do that exalts him." 

There is a sense in which success cannot be 
said to have been achieved by society unless all 
classes share in it. Hence we take little interest 
in schemes for social revolution in behalf of one 
class simply. It is surely not a question of "the 
privileged classes" or favored individuals said to 
be "lucky" from birth. It is not a question of 
individuals or classes but of man as a social being, 
man thinking, willing, doing, living, rounding 
out his days in the power and beauty of accom- 

To say that success cannot be measured by 

194 Spiritual Health and Healing 

worldly standards alone is not to plead for a spir- 
itual life by which people console themselves who 
have failed in the world. Mundane life is of 
course incomplete, and we anticipate compensa- 
tions in the future because of efforts which have 
not yet borne fruits. The spiritual life is always 
a consolation in a way. But we no longer under- 
rate success in the world as a way of praising 
people who adopt the spiritual ideal. A failure 
here would be a failure in the future life, too. It 
is not a mere matter of "rewards." There are 
conditions to be met wherever we are. Life is 
for success. We have not lived if we have failed 
in our central undertaking. We have merely 
served an apprenticeship. 

Success is adaptation to life as it comes to us 
from within. What makes life "worth while," 
as we say, is found through appreciation of the 
work given us to do, through response to our 
better nature. Success is never a mere game in 
which we get the better of our neighbor, what- 
ever the world may assume on this point. Suc- 
cess is for higher self-realization. We have no 
rivals in the work we can do best. We feel dis- 
satisfied simply because we have not yet accom- 
plished our individual purpose — not because the 
world has failed us. 

Sometimes indeed there is inward success in 
an undertaking accounted a failure by observers. 

Spiritual Success 195 

One may succeed in doing work for which one is 
not fitted, by sheer persistence in sticking to it. 
Some people wait many years before beginning 
their true work. Yet the real value of these 
secondary victories is seen in the use we make of 
the power acquired by meeting obstacles and 
then transferring our activities to some work that 
is to our liking. We may not judge merely by 
the vocation a man is now pursuing, by his pro- 
fession, salary, profits, or even by his reputation 
in the community. For success involves the varied 
relationships of the inner life, and these are not 
apparent to the public eye. The man who knows 
himself understands what his work is doing for 
him, and how his life may be turned to higher ac- 
count. We no longer praise people for mere 
resignation in accepting life's hardships and ill- 
nesses. We now look for the affirmative attitude. 
Those of us who do fairly well in everything 
we undertake are deemed "lucky." But luck im- 
plies that there is a fortunate combination of 
circumstances more powerful than the man him- 
self, who merely receives what comes, while 
others must work hard. Behind the scenes he 
who has really succeeded has been working as 
hard as anyone. The world often sees the fin- 
ished result only, unaware of the years of inces- 
sant effort by which inner victories have been won 
and outward obstacles have been overcome. What 

196 Spiritual Health and Healing 

we need to know is the inner history behind the 
alleged luck. There was an intelligible reason 
in every case, and no mere chance at all. There 
was alertness in meeting occasions, readiness in 
responding to opportunities which others did not 
take but might have taken. The man of char- 
acter who "always lands on his feet" has acquired 
a certain art of rising to occasions. Then, too, 
we need to remind ourselves that there is Divine 
guidance prompting men from within, hence a 
spiritual law in events seemingly coming by 

Life offers us opportunities amidst law, order, 
system, and if we do not ignore or try to defeat 
life we move steadily forward. Life favors the 
man with true self-reliance. Life is for right- 
eousness whatever sceptics may say to the con- 
trary. Usually the one who complains that others 
are lucky is trying to force life to flow in some 
other channel. The pessimist would like to dic- 
tate terms to the universe. The optimist marvels 
at the order and beauty of things as they are. 

This would be a mere platitude if men were 
not trying to get something for nothing. The 
time comes when people realize the great truth 
that every action brings its own reward, and that 
no one is excluded however unlucky he may seem 
to be. Then they learn that it is not true that 
"honesty is the best policy" because it "pays," 

Spiritual Success 197 

but because honesty is right in itself. It is no 
longer a question of anything that simply "pays," 
but of that which preserves moral integrity and 
is right for all concerned. No mental device can 
secure for us a real sucess that is not deserved. 
What we need to make sure of in the first place 
is that we have something worth while to give 
the world. The more we have to give the less we 
need think of the reward that is coming to us. 

In the world it is said of course that the condi- 
tions of life are hard, that one must live, and 
hence in the intense competition one is justified 
in adopting any method that may be in vogue. 
But this would not be success but surrender. To 
succeed we should expect to find a place and a 
work for ourselves, whatever the conditions. To 
surrender mentally is to weaken in life as a 
whole. But life calls for the affirmative attitude. 

Some say that life is too short to succeed 
both in developing character and in earning 
a competency. Then let us decide in favor of 
character-building. But the saying is not true. 
The affirmative attitude strengthens us to believe 
that whatever is for us to do we will be able to 
do. We need not try to evade or put off any- 
thing that is right. Let us rather seek to live the 
truly complete life, regarding every apparent 
obstacle or handicap as an opportunity for suc- 
cess. We need not ask for more time or for favor- 

198 Spiritual Health and Healing 

able conditions. Time is ours and the conditions 
we need just now are at hand. 

Success used to be judged by the amount of 
"push" with which an enterprise was launched. 
This type of activity was fostered by urging 
one's point at any cost, by clever advertising to 
create a demand, by seizing every opportunity to 
follow up an advantage to the limit. It was 
ingenious, competitive, often unscrupulous and 
disagreeably persistent. It could secure the sale 
of an inferior article. We all bought goods we 
did not want, before we understood the psychol- 
ogy of success. Now we know that the less value 
there is in a thing the more enterprise must be 
put into it to try to make us buy. It still "pays 
to advertise," but there are things that advertise 
themselves. It is a question of quality and of 
permanent value. 

There is a sure road to success thfough honesty 
and steady persistence in right doing, with some- 
thing to do for the world, or something to give to 
the world, even though results are not at once 
apparent. From this point of view financial re- 
wards are signs but not the only evidences of suc- 
cess. There are many forms of moral success 
which bring no rewards in money at all, for in- 
stance, deeds of heroism in the case of a disaster 
at sea like the sinking of the Titanic. The true 
hero does not even ask for thanks, although he 

Spiritual Success 199 

likes appreciation which shows insight into the 
law of service. Then, too, there is success by 
adaptation to nature in the case of explorations 
and discoveries. A part of the art of life consists 
in ability to meet changing conditions, all kinds 
of weather and hardships, when our work calls 
us into the various parts of the world. In a sense, 
adaptation to nature through the development 
of a sound mind and body, through due amount 
of exercise, rest, sleep and triumphant health is 
the basis of every other type of success. 

Again, there is success through fidelity to 
friends, in the preservation of home-life at its 
best, the conservation of true marriage, fidelity 
to a high ideal of love and truth and of a great 
cause. All such successes are measured by their 
own invisible rewards. Only he who gives abun- 
dantly receives in large measure. These suc- 
cesses become ends in themselves, while our 
external life is regarded as means only or as 

If all worthy successes contribute to what we 
call spiritual success, let us agree that resignation 
is not in any sense the ideal. Not by mere self- 
effacement or self-sacrifice can we give our best 
to the world. What we need is strong belief in 
the triumph of the right, the beautiful, the true, 
together with consecration to do our part, to de- 
vote ourselves to our work. It is not a question 

200 Spiritual Health and Healing 

of what we give up but of what we manifest. The 
more fully we give ourselves in the direction in 
which we can give best, the more we shall possess 
of the joys and opportunities which stand for 
fulness of life. 

To start with the idea of God as all-encompass- 
ing Spirit, with the universe regarded as exist- 
ing for spiritual ends, is to accord spiritual things 
the first rank from beginning to end, hence to 
see that spiritual success is the one real success. 
As spirits we have a two-fold relationship, one 
in the spiritual world to the more direct activities 
of the Divine life; and one in the natural world 
where as dwellers in the flesh we take on the con- 
ditions that come to us by birth. It is on the Di- 
vine side that we draw from the great resources 
which bring success over external obstacles. 
What seems impossible outwardly becomes pos- 
sible from within. 

We have the power of the Spirit within us 
to rise above circumstances through insight into 
their meaning for the soul. The whole life-situ- 
ation is changed for us when we grasp the inner 
point of view. We then see the spiritual trans- 
forming and expressing itself through the nat- 
ural. What once seemed a hardship now proves 
to be an opportunity. Our external conditions 
prove adverse only so long as we regard them 
negatively. True success always grows out of the 

Spiritual Success 201 

affirmative attitude. True success is for the indi- 
vidual and for society at the same time. There is 
no conflict ultimately speaking between self-real- 
ization and service. For true success is based on 
the higher truth of man's being. It implies the 
inspiring idea that there is but one Power in the 
universe and that this power is manifested in a 
world-order which makes for spiritual success. 



Many years ago Dr. Quimby remarked that 
the time would come when people would once 
more be healed by word of mouth as in the case 
of the remarkable healings wrought by Jesus 
and the apostles. How is such healing possible 
and when may we expect "the greater works'' 
promised by the Master? 

At first thought the prospect of instantaneous 
healing seems incredible if not utterly impossible. 
This is probably the reason which led devotees 
of the church to classify scriptural healing as 
miraculous. Apparently there is no way by 
which a person can suddenly be lifted from a 
well-nigh hopeless state of disease, especially if 
it comes on gradually out of cumulative causes; 
for we know that time is required for recovery 
in case of diseases of long standing. There seems 
to be no way of ridding the human system of 
its disorders except through a regular series of 

If, however, we examine the scriptural record 
to learn what we can about the works of heal- 


Instantaneous Healing 203 

ing, we find that there is a certain resemblance 
in the several instances which affords us a clue. 
So far as the record informs us the works of heal- 
ing were wrought among the "common people," 
who heard the Master gladly. Such people, we 
know from acquaintance with them today, have 
greater emotional responsiveness, greater powers 
of self-abandonment, than the socially elect and 
the learned possess. These come by their mala- 
dies more quickly, and whatever they yield they 
let go of more readily. They are, therefore, able 
to give themselves with more implicit faith to any 
power or any person inspiring faith. It is wholly 
credible that people of this responsive type 
should so have given themselves in faith to the 
Master as to have been made suddenly "whole." 

Such healing would, let us say, lift the spirit 
of the sometime sufferer to a higher level of 
consciousness with such power, with such an im- 
petus that a new mode of life would result, as in 
the case of those remarkable conversions which 
still occur from time to time through missionary 
work in the slums of a great city. This changed 
centre of equilibrium would bring its attendant 
consequences and make the cure complete so far 
as it could be wrought by another. The sub- 
sequent results would depend upon the intelli- 
gence of the individual in living the new mode of 
life thoughtfully. 

204 Spiritual Health and Healing 

From the point of view of the therapeutist, in- 
stantaneous healing would result from penetrat- 
ing insight into the real state of soul, the true 
inner life of the patient. This insight would be 
accompanied by power to make it good. The 
keener the insight, the more sharp would be the 
separation made through the Christ-conscious- 
ness between the spirit of the patient and his 
former malady. The patient would not only 
receive the benefit of the display of healing pow- 
er, but hear such a thrilling word as "Thy faith 
hath made thee whole/' "Take up thy bed and 
walk." The Christ would both act and speak 
"as one having authority." 

Dr. Quimby used to say that "the explanation 
is the cure." By this he meant the penetrating 
truth which struck home and touched the real 
cause of disease, whatever appearances might be. 
Strictly speaking, the cure was wrought by that 
insight, and if the patient grasped it, the cure 
was immediate, so far as the inner life was con- 
cerned. For we either see a thing or we do not. 
What leads up to it is preliminary. When the 
insight really comes, nothing more need be said. 
Hence Quimby very suddenly and convincingly 
spoke to some of his patients that illuminating 
word which carried the most far-reaching re- 
sults, results affecting not only the health but the 
religion, business, mode of life and happiness of 

Instantaneous Healing 205 

the patient. With the growth of this power of 
discernment, Quimby found himself able to speak 
the healing word more effectively. Hence, he 
foresaw the time when the clarifying word would 
itself be sufficient. 

We have all on occasion made inner changes 
as quickly as that. For example, a man sees that 
he has been a fool, and in detecting his folly 
grasps in an instant the cause of much trouble 
and as quickly drops his trouble with all its side 
issues. A person realizes in a flash that he has 
been duped and in the same flash utterly changes 
his attitude toward the people and things in- 
volved. Thus in a moment of electrifying self- 
consciousness, a young person who has been in- 
fatuated realizes his predicament. The "affair" 
is all over at once. There is nothing more to 
say. It would be utterly out of the question to 
pretend to love the other partner to the expe- 
rience. As quickly, also, a commercial deal may 
come to an end. 

Granted truth-seeking and truth-telling people 
enough in the world, people would be taken out 
of their hypocrisies and pretensions right and 
left. Nothing is so swift in its effect as truth. 
The only difficulty in the world in this regard is 
that truth is not welcome. If we encouraged the 
man of insight, it would become customary for 
people to cure one another of their errors and con- 

206 Spiritual Health and Healing 

ceits, to say nothing of what are called their 

We may expect the greater works promised 
by the Master when people more seriously adopt 
the healing principle which goes straight to the 
heart, down to the very foundation of human 
life. As of old, those who are responsive in type 
will give themselves most readily to such healing. 
But there is hope for us all. Ideally speaking, 
it is possible that a word should be spoken to any 
one of us which would take us immediately out 
of our darkness. When we see the light, the rest 

Many of the instances of spontaneous healing 
of which we hear from time to time are instan- 
taneous in type. A bedridden invalid may sud- 
denly do the impossible when a threatening fire 
breaks out and there is no one at hand to help. 
This happened in the case of one who rose from 
her bed, packed her trunk and dragged it down 
four flights of stairs to a place of safety, suffer- 
ing no relapse. It sometimes happens when a 
physician or some member of the family despair- 
ingly resorts to a trick in order to arouse the bed- 
ridden creatures of habits to help themselves. If 
a shock may kill, a shock can also cure. What 
some people need is the equivalent of a shock. 

But spiritual healing will become more intel- 
ligent as we proceed, and it will no longer be 

Instantaneous Healing 207 

necessary to shock people into activity. That is 
to say, the sick and the sorrowing will be more 
quickly restored if they so will. There are always 
people who refuse to look at the truth as long as 
they are able to be evasive. Many could be 
cured quickly enough now if they wished to be. 
But people either avoid the effort or the direct 
view which discloses their inward self in all the 
actuality of concealed motives and intentions. 

Death is probably an instantaneous healing 
for many people, or rather the process of coming 
to judgment which follows it when there is no 
longer any way to hide from oneself. Some of 
us would prefer to look reality straight in the 
eye here and now. There is marvelous help, 
there are unbounded resources for those who are 
ready to give themselves in full confidence to 
the Spirit. We might even be raised suddenly 
from a state of "spiritual death" into one of 
hearty responsiveness to the Life whose resources 
are infinite. It is not a question of the length 
of time the soul has lain in the tomb of carnal 
consciousness, but of the summoning power of 
the Christ. "Lazarus, come forth," "Maiden, I 
say unto thee, arise!" is the great word. 

Someone has said that the only healing is self- 
healing. This is true if by such healing we mean 
the dawning in our own consciousness of the 
truth which has set us free, the awareness of that 

208 Spiritual Health and Healing 

Life to which we owe our restoration. So, too, 
a conversion or any other spiritual change be- 
comes truly ours when we see it, and, touched 
to the quick, will to make the new life our own. 

In a more profound sense, it might be said 
that the only genuine healing is the cure of our 
selfishness. Other healings are introductory. It 
is surely within our power to turn abruptly from 
our selfishness within a single day, in an hour, 
a moment. We do not even need to wait for a 
quickening vision like that which came to Saul 
on the road to Damascus and made him, by his 
consent, Paul, the greatest of apostles; for we 
have much more enlightenment now. The world 
now sees with crystal clearness that selfishness 
is the one great trouble. Then, too, there are 
countless aids at hand if one wills to become un- 
selfish. We need not stop to plead, to ask for 
reasons and await results. As suddenly as an 
apparently obscure private may become a hero at 
the front by venturing to do the brave deed at 
which his comrades hesitate, so any one of us 
might step forth a new man; for either "we have 
the mind of Christ" or this transfiguring mind 
is close at hand in the person of someone who will 
manifest it in our presence. The response made 
to us by the Christ is never limited. "Be thou 
made clean." "According to thy faith be it unto 



The question is often asked why it is that a 
man in perfect physical health may be taken 
suddenly ill and die a few days after, although 
under the most skilful medical care. Here, for 
example, is an exceptionally strong man in the 
prime of life, engaged in a congenial occupation, 
one that is not too taxing and is likely to sustain 
his good health instead of militating against it. 
He is a highly educated man, with well-trained 
powers and an uncommonly acute intellect. 
Moreover, he is philosophically inclined and 
seems to be wiser in his attitude toward life than 
most men. His special interest is also favorable 
to wisdom in daily living. Apparently every- 
thing is in his favor. Yet when the disease seizes 
him he rapidly collapses and his physicians soon 
announce that there is no hope. He passes out of 
this lif e even more rapidly than men with far less 
strength and much less intellectual power. 

Of course death in such a case may be the 
simple result of medical ignorance and practice. 
Powerful remedies may be put into his system 


210 Spiritual Health and Healing 

to drive out some supposed germ or toxin, and 
the system may be unable to resist this obstacle 
to the indwelling restorative power. But throw- 
ing such instances out of account for the moment 
and confining our interest to cases where the 
inner life of the patient is the primary considera- 
tion, we may say in brief that the difficulty is that 
there is no interior knowledge, no conscious pow- 
er of resistance. For intellectual development 
and education is no necessary guarantee against 
disease — as things go in this world. A person 
may have as beautiful a faith in the inner guid- 
ance as the Quaker or as firm a belief in the Di- 
vine influx as the Swedenborgian and yet entire- 
ly fail to see the connection between inner seren- 
ity or receptivity and conditions making for 
health. In case of the man with a high degree 
of intellectual development the mind is not used 
to control its own states or those of the body, but 
simply for the sake of concentration upon the 
work at hand from day to day. There is not 
even the mere idea of inner control, peace or 
poise. There is no insight whatever into the 
inner meaning of painful sensations. Con- 
sequently, when the man "catches cold," as we 
say in our astonishing ignorance of what a "cold" 
really is; when fever comes, with its attendant 
symptoms, the heightened circulation and rapid- 
ly increasing activity of the heart, the man knows 

The Overcoming of Disease 211 

nothing to do save to give way mentally and suc- 
cumb to physical treatment. He does not try 
to put another interpretation upon his symptoms, 
because his education has never developed him 
in that direction. He does not open his spirit 
to receive higher power, for he has never learned 
that the human spirit has any such resource as an 
actual experience. He does not seek spiritual 
help from anyone, never having heard that such 
help is practical. His mind simply yields to 
circumstance, and he is as much a victim of the 
successive bodily states which carry him from a 
slight disturbance to a high fever, then to pneu- 
monia and death, as if he had never trained his 
mind at all. 

What are the implied beliefs in such a case? 
That disease is only a physical disorder due to 
external causes — for example, a germ finding 
lodgment in favoring conditions; that mental 
life is conditioned by and dependent on the states 
of the brain, and has no offsetting or controlling 
power; and that the soul or spirit, if indeed it 
exist at all, is a vague entity of some sort which 
may become active after death but which does 
not function now. There is no belief that the 
spirit can control the mind, hence the brain, and 
bring about changes in the physical organism. 
For such belief would imply the inner point of 
view, the view from within outward upon the 

212 Spiritual Health and Healing 

body as an instrument of the spirit, and such an 
idea is utterly foreign to the conventional way of 
thinking. It would seem absurd in the extreme 
to tell a person with such dependence on con- 
ventional teaching that the spirit can exert heal- 
ing power. 

In reality, the spirit in such a man as we have 
described is like one asleep amid boundless re- 
sources never contemplated even in dreams. The 
mental power gradually acquired through years 
of skilful training and splendid work implies a 
high degree of efficiency and could be turned to 
wonderful account in such a man's life, if he 
realized that there is a way of using such power 
for spiritual ends. This man has, let us say, a 
considerable degree of composure, and this com- 
posure might be the basis of spiritual poise. He 
has intellectual discernment and this might be 
exercised in behalf of spiritual intuition. But 
there must first be an interior awakening. This 
man quickly succumbs to illness because there 
has been no such inner quickening. 

How do we regard life's situation when we 
awaken? We start in every respect from within, 
not through mere introspection or self-analysis, 
but with insight that man is spirit and that spirit 
is the user of a higher activity than the activities 
commonly regarded as intellectual. 

Starting from within, one places much empha- 

The Overcoming of Disease 213 

sis on the spirit's ability to become receptive to 
intuition or guidance, and through this receptiv- 
ity to draw upon a superior life which becomes 
triumphant over adverse mental stages, which 
banishes fear, overcomes excitement, allays the 
emotions, and arouses a counter-activity able to 
overcome threatening bodily states. One regards 
mental life, that is, the passing states of con- 
sciousness, as expressing the spirit, and the brain 
as the instrument for manifesting such mental 
states as the spirit may select. That is, the mind 
is the instrument for controlling the body and 
receiving impressions through the brain from the 
outward world. All life or power is looked upon 
as spiritual or Divine in origin. Hence all real 
efficiency or causality is regarded as spiritual, 
while natural things and events are taken to be 
secondary to the causes which operate through 

To say that man as spirit is nearest the Spirit 
and can become open to Spirit as health-giving 
life, is to realize that man may learn to know 
and to cultivate those states of spirit most open 
to this Life, those states which underly interior 
control as the basis of poise and health. To grow 
in ability to realize this life-giving presence of 
Spirit is to be more and more able to put oneself 
into the appropriate attitude at will, the attitude 
for demonstration. Thus is acquired the counter- 

214 Spiritual Health and Healing 

acting faith which strengthens the mind in time 
of need, the love which drives out fear, the calm- 
ness which allays excitement. The spirit having 
put itself in this affirmative direction, corre- 
sponding mental results follow, the thoughts and 
mental images take their clue from the attitude 
of spirit. Then when the hour of need comes one 
may regain this inner composure and hence pos- 
sess the power of resistance required to stem the 
rising tide of disturbed activities within the 

Since very much depends upon the first atti- 
tude assumed, the interpretation put upon the 
beginning of pain, for example, a slightly pain- 
ful sensation around the heart or increasing 
temperature, if there is no idea of inner control 
a person simply interprets the pain according to 
the prevailing theories and adopts an attitude 
favorable to the increase of the painful symp- 
toms. That is, there is no resistance or affirma- 
tiveness in the attitude at all. By giving assent 
the mind merely capitulates and is soon engulfed. 
The interpretation may be entirely wrong, that 
is, based solely on appearances. 

If, however, a man really knows his mental 
life, instead of acquiescing in the notion that it 
is entirely conditioned by the brain, he acquires 
genuine insight into actual causes. He may then 
see at a glance that the physical condition is due 

The Ovekcoming of Disease 215 

to excess, nervousness, excitement or tension; 
and that this nervous excess is in turn due to some 
activity which he has been overdoing, without giv- 
ing his spirit sufficient time to overcome the daily 
fatigue. Thus thinking, he knows that the out- 
ward excess may be overcome by lifting his con- 
sciousness to a higher level, becoming inwardly 
still, breaking connection with the lower level of 
disturbances. The spirit in fact may calm the 
disturbances as a wisely calm person might quell 
a mob by enunciating a great truth which clears 
away all misconceptions and undermines the hot- 
headedness. The spirit may go further on occa- 
sion, that is, may direct the therapeutic power 
straight to the disturbed region and bring about 
a remarkable change in a few minutes. 

For interior peace or spiritual poise in the 
sense in which we are here using the term is 
power-inviting or dynamic in unusual degree. 
To regain it by lifting the spirit into unison with 
the Divine presence is to change the centre of 
equilibrium, the basis of activity. When peace 
ensues where excitement might have reigned, 
when repose is in control and consciousness is 
absorbed in spiritual realization, the mind as a 
whole not only becomes favorable but is put into 
a state to shift the balance of power throughout 
the organism. This accomplished, the tempera- 
ture begins to go down, the heart and lungs re- 

216 Spiritual Health and Healing 

sume their normal rhythms, and other consequen- 
ces follow as matters of course. It is not neces- 
sary to keep up the inner process or realization. 
For the crisis is past; as we say, the tide has 
been turned. The same disturbance which might 
have been developed into a severe or fatal illness 
is by the right interpretation and the right action, 
at "the psychological moment/' turned into a 
relatively trivial series of states which soon pass 
away of their own volition. 

If the person who thus conquers the inceptive 
stages of illness, by turning them into something 
trivial, learns a lesson from the experience he 
may presently take a further step, that is, by 
avoiding the excess, whatever it may have been, 
which brought on the initial disturbance. Such 
a one is likely to regard all painful sensations as 
incidental and to put the most favorable inter- 
pretation upon them. After a while it becomes a 
question, not of the mere overcoming of an ill- 
ness, but of a regular mode of life tending to 
bring health as a consequence without any 
thought of disease. 

Every person has a way of meeting life. Some 
of us are highly emotional and readily enter into 
a disturbing experience in such a way as to drain 
the nervous forces. Nearly all emotions are ex- 
hausting, and angry emotions use up the nerve- 
energy with remarkable rapidity. To see that 

The Overcoming of Disease 217 

this is true in one's own case and to profit by it 
is to make ready to cultivate those other mental 
qualities, such as calmness and moderation of 
thought, which give strength. Going further 
still, one learns the true or spiritual source of 
calmness and strength, and cultivates that mode 
of life which is devoid of all emotional excess. 
Worthy emotions may still find place, but all 
worthy emotion is tempered by wisdom or mod- 

Whatever the temperament, the great point to 
gain is willingness to make the venture, to turn 
from a disturbance to the realm of higher and 
finer power within. To unite with that Power, 
declaring "I am spirit and have infinite Life to 
draw upon," or whatever the realization may be, 
is to break with the disturbing element, turn the 
tide. If one must put some sort of interpretation 
upon the disturbance in order to be at rest, let it 
be called a process of cleansing or readjustment. 
Or call it simply "progress." For it should not 
be regarded as a condition taken on from the out- 
side. In the natural order of things we become 
aware of a disturbance when something foreign 
is being brought to the surface and cast off, just 
as we become unpleasantly self-conscious when 
a trait of character is undergoing change. To 
regard the process as incidental and promising, 
is to put oneself in line with it, that is, in line with 

218 Spiritual Health and Healing 

the creative Life behind it. Our part is to unite 
with this Life, not to dwell upon the process. 
Therefore our realization should always be such 
as to make this union the more secure. The vital 
point is that a disturbance which might be de- 
veloped into a disease if met according to the old 
order of thought, is given exactly the opposite 
turn by realizing the truth which is "the cure." 
Wonderful to relate, an apparently threatening 
illness may pass off in a few minutes, simply by 
giving the whole experience the right turn at the 
right time for making as little of it as possible. 

Too much emphasis cannot be placed on the 
importance of rightly interpreting our sensations 
and pains. This in fact is the vital point with 
most of us. And at this point we find enlight- 
ened medical opinion in our day in line with the 
conclusions of the spiritual healer. Dr. Richard 
Cabot emphasizes, for example, the importance 
of taking account of the high degree of sugges- 
tibility to which so many people are subject. 1 
Three examples of such suggestibility are cited: 
misinterpretation of sensations which might in- 
dicate heart disease, cancer or insanity. "People 
are amazingly prone to fancy that they have 
heart disease. If they have any symptoms in 
that part of the body where they are taught to be- 
lieve that the heart resides, or especially if they 

i "Social Work/' p. 93. 

The Overcoming of Disease 219 

know someone who has recently died of heart 
disease, there are many people likely first to be- 
lieve that they have heart trouble, and then to 
have actual symptoms which they attribute to 
heart disease." Insanity is feared far more 
often. Cancer is the most dreaded of all dis- 
eases, "but one of the most unnecessarily feared," 
inasmuch as the only alleged basis for it may be 
"trifling pains or stomach troubles, troubles that 
all of us would disregard." In the same way a 
person will speak of a "pain across the kidneys" 
when the kidneys are perfectly healthy. Again, 
a man will think that he has this or that disease 
when all that troubles him is a "tired stomach." 
Fatigue of the eyes is also very common and very 

If, then, we would overcome disease from with- 
in we must begin by learning how to interpret 
our pains aright. Many a potential disease is dis- 
missed in a quiet sort of way without any malady 
at all by the man who knows how to give his 
sensations the right turn at the right moment. 
For the wise man makes as little as he can of his 
ills. Turning them off as incidental, he refuses 
to name them, refuses to associate them with con- 
ventional fears. It is then a question of a quiet 
rest for a day or so, or of silent spiritual help en- 
listed at the appropriate moment. If the stomach 
is tired, then the stomach is given a rest, and no 

220 Spiritual Health and Healing 

fears are entertained concerning the kidneys. 
If the eyes are tired, rest for the eyes is sought. 
Always there is discrimination between pain and 
the interpretation put upon it. 

Furthermore, one who is wise in this direction 
bears in mind the further fact stated by Dr. 
Cabot, namely, that "the vast majority of dis- 
eases get well without any help from anybody." 
Since this is the case, why name them in the first 
place? Why run to the doctor? Why accept the 
notion that disease is cured by medicine instead 
of being cured by the resident forces within the 
individual? If most maladies tend to run them- 
selves out any way, while others can be "starved 
out" and some will disappear if we keep quiet 
and rest, why make so much of disease? Why 
not emphasize health and the way to attain and 
keep it? 

Plainly, all these are individual matters. It is 
for each man to learn the difference between his 
own pains and his own interpretations of them, 
his suggestibility, his dependence on medical or 
other opinion, bondage to fear. Most of our 
fears are borrowed. They go with some medical 
or religious belief which we have accepted — with- 
out much thought. They have little basis in fact. 
It is mere matter of common sense, therefore, to 
face them, face the worst and see how far we are 

The Overcoming of Disease 221 

from it, how slight is the foundation of our 

What we need is courage to make the venture 
in the spiritual direction. What had always 
seemed impossible may .easily come within our 
power, when we plunge in and make a beginning 
by taking our spiritual faith seriously. And 
when we have dismissed our temporary or super- 
ficial ills, the way will be open to face the real 
problems of spiritual healing. 



Health is usually regarded as an end in itself, 
to be sought directly, as we might go out in quest 
of pleasure. Hence people have in the past con- 
sulted physicians and have taken medicines and 
drugs simply to be relieved of their aches and 
pains. So, too, people have more recently visited 
mental healers, insisting that what they wanted 
was health ; they did not care to hear a word con- 
cerning the spiritual life. Most of us who have 
had to give special attention to our health have 
been inclined to regard it as a distinct possession, 
a state of the body to be gained without much 
regard to the state of the mind or spirit. We 
have had to learn from experience that health as 
a true possession is inseparably connected with 
the mode of life we live. 

Meanwhile, instances have been observed in 
which health has been restored to people who 
have given up the quest for it as a distinct end, 
and have, fortunately for them, yielded their 
minds to other interests. Health has, for ex- 
ample, come to men and women who have de- 


Ckeatiye Health 223 

served it by giving themselves in full consecration 
to their life-work in the world. Any experience 
which thus brings health as a sort of by-product 
is instructive because it suggests that health 
might best be sought by first pursuing a higher 
end, by doing one's true work as leader, scholar, 
artist, as a productive agent of any kind. Health 
might therefore be regarded as creative. By this 
term, "creative health," one therefore means that 
larger health which springs from the life or con- 
duct which is most intimately characteristic of 
the individual. 

The Englishman who, doomed by the verdict 
of his physicians, to die within six months, entire- 
ly regained his health by first asking how he 
could most fully enjoy life during the time that 
remained to him, merely exemplified this prin- 
ciple in part. Exceedingly fond of hunting and 
fishing, this man gave himself up to the sheer 
pleasure of life in the open without thinking of 
any result that might come to him. Despite the 
possibility of catching cold in the swamps and in 
stormy weather, he indulged in all sorts of ex- 
posure to the elements without fear and without 
resistance. Nature doubtless relieved him of 
many a tension and inner obstruction because 
he yielded his organism unqualifiedly, inasmuch 
as he expected to die whatever he did. So na- 
ture might be kind to us all if we would do our 

224 Spiritual Health and Healing 

part in full responsiveness, anticipating only 
benefits. Men have sometimes built up a rugged 
constitution through life in the open, or in con- 
tact with real hardship through constant ex- 
posure as in war-time, when their main interest 
was far removed from the pursuit of health. It 
is not recorded, however, that many who merely 
sought their own pleasure through exposure to 
nature have helped their fellow men to gain the 
vision of creative health. 

Another man, very different in type from the 
Englishman and beset by headaches which no one 
could overcome for him, resolved to try the ex- 
periment of benefiting his head by using it to 
the limit, a heroic remedy most of us would say. 
Taking up an intellectual investigation with 
steady persistence, this courageous worker be- 
came sound in mind and body by using his powers 
instead of letting them lie fallow while seeking 
material aids. In so doing he found his vocation 
once for all in a field of original research which 
enlisted his intellect to the full. Undoubtedly 
his energies were pent-up prior to the discovery 
of this productive outlet. His motive in becom- 
ing a scholar may not have been philanthropic, 
but he surely found himself by losing himself in 
his work. 

More inspiring by far was the case of a woman 
who, like the Englishman who loved to hunt and 

Creative Health 225 

fish, was limited by the best physicians of her 
time to six months more in this natural world. 
Her question was not, How may I have the best 
time in six months remaining to me? but, How 
may I do most for my fellow men in this short 
time? Remembering that in the slums of the city 
in which she lived there was a house belonging 
to her family, she asked leave to dedicate this 
house to social service for the benefit of the poor 
and needy. Taking the house into her charge 
and becoming absorbed in the opportunities 
which contact with the laboring classes brought 
her, this deep lover of good works found the 
allotted six months passing into the years, and the 
years bringing her a state of health which could 
be prolonged into the fulness of life. She, too, not 
only found her vocation but in such a way that 
many co-workers were stimulated into creative 
activity by her example. Health did not at once 
cease to be a goal to be kept in sight, but it be- 
came a secondary good to be guarded for the 
sake of a life rich in opportunities for service. 
Her health came unsought when there was no 
apparent hope that she could survive beyond six 
months. This health was in brief a gift of her 
spiritual life. It came as an added element, not 
as a possession which seemed within human power 
to bestow. What resulted in her life might 
come in full many an instance if with equal zeal 

226 Spiritual Health and Healing 

men and women who have no hope in material 
things were to give themselves as resolutely to 
some w r ork supremely worth while. Thus creat- 
ive work in any field might produce that wonder- 
ful health which is of the Spirit. 

In a measure this was the kind of health which 
Dr. Quimby's labors produced for him when, 
ostensibly a mere student of mental influences 
and in dire need of health, he undertook the in- 
vestigations which led to the modern discovery 
of spiritual healing. 1 Dr. Quimby apparently 
had but a short time to live. Yet he completely 
regained his health while scarcely thinking about 
it. While studying the phenomena of what we 
now call "suggestion" and the subconscious, he 
found a vocation of absorbing interest. His 
first interests could hardly have been called spir- 
itual at all, although there may have been a Di- 
vine purpose that he should discover the silent 
method of healing at that time. He was not look- 
ing for light upon his own health when it dawned 
upon him with such fulness. There appeared 
to be little left to create health out of, so far as 
his physical condition was concerned. There was 
no one at hand to tell him to seek his freedom by 
spiritual means, unless we say that the Spirit 
within him taught him to look beyond material 
forces. But by discerning laws of mind which 

i "A History of the New Thought Movement/' Chap. II. 

Creative Health 227 

he could utilize to set people free from bondage 
to mere opinion and teach them a true "Science 
of Health" he became filled with the life-interest 
which brought his own spiritual health and with 
it his bodily health. 1 

According to the principles which Dr. Quimby 
was thereby led to adopt, health is the natural 
right of every human soul. The presence of the 
Creator with us through the wisdom which guides 
and the love which sustains is for the sake of 
health, among ends of greater value than health 
itself. We ought therefore to judge by what 
God is endeavoring to quicken in us and produce 
through us, taking the whole of our life into ac- 
count. We ought not to judge by physical signs 
or symptoms. We should judge by the imma- 
nent Life which makes for rounded development. 
Taking this as our clue, it should not seem 
strange at all that a person may find his health 
spiritually by discovering his work in the world. 
In Quimby's case the work and the health were 
apparently one and the same. His theory that 
health is a consequence of understanding and 
rightly using our powers grew out of his own 
quests. He created his own health, if you please, 
by discovering a new field of service. But in the 
larger sense God created these gifts through 

i "The Quimby Manuscripts." Chap. III. 

228 Spiritual Health and Healing 

i him. Man's extremity was once more God's 

Quimby's patients were in large measure in 
the same position. They had no hope physically. 
They had not found themselves or found their 
work. This was as true of Mrs. Patterson (later 
Mrs. Eddy) as of Rev. Mr. Evans, who became 
the first writer on the subject, and of the other 
pioneers. Coming simply to be restored to 
health, if his work as a "last resort" could save 
them, they found not merely health but a work 
to do in leading others into the same freedom. 
Quimby was their forerunner or guide. He could 
save and cure in so far as anyone, divinely guid- 
ed, may rescue another from the borders of the 
grave and give a new lease of life. Yet there 
was still a work to be done, namely, their own 
creative response through the discovery of the 
greater self and its field for individual service. 
This meant that each one who became a pioneer 
in the new work of freeing the soul must think 
out the central principles concerning the Christ 
as the true healing power. The individual need 
afforded the special problem for each to solve, 
that he might prove the truth of Quimby's teach- 
ing for himself. He might have little capital as 
it were to begin with: it was for him to aid in 
the process of creating health by means of this 
small beginning. 

Creative Health 229 

When, for example, a patient came to Quim- 
by whose inner life was suppressed, with the 
nervous energies pent-up and causing trouble, 
the function of the silent spiritual treatment was 
to touch the dormant life into action and start 
the soul on its way to freedom. Through the 
intuition which came to Quimby to meet the in- 
dividual's needs, he did that work for another 
which the sufferer was unable to do for himself. 
It then remained for the sometime sufferer to 
come into spiritual understanding, that he might 
learn what conditions had caused his trouble and 
how to live so that such conditions need never re- 
cur. Thus a patient who had been an invalid for 
six years as a result of over-study in school, in 
gaining her health learned how to use her sensi- 
tive disposition and exceptional intuitive powers 
for the benefit of others beset by similar condi- 
tions. Thus the young man whom we have 
spoken of in Chapter I found himself as a true 
follower of Christ. The greatest work wrought 
by Quimby may therefore rightfully be called 

Yet in these and all cases where striking results 
ensued, where there was a life of service continu- 
ing throughout the years that followed, the heal- 
ing was only the beginning of the creative work. 
The healing gave the impetus which when fol- 
lowed with constancy of faith enabled the indi- 

230 Spiritual Health and Healing 

vidual to enter in and take possession of the 
benefits produced in the inner life. These be- 
came permanent with the discovery of the power 
to go to the same Divine sources. To find these 
sources was to discover the inner Word, to begin 
to read the eternal Word as the book of the soul's 

Now, the individual who thus began to find 
the priceless possession may not have been whol- 
ly restored to health when this regeneration be- 
gan. He may not have reached the point where 
he was free from bodily ills and able to demon- 
strate the spiritual law on all occasions. That is 
not the crucial point. Many take up their public 
work before they are wholly free. The point is 
that the remaining conditions offer the resistance 
needed to enable a person to attain creative 
health. These are the conditions one must master 
for oneself. They are there to test the soul. 
They are incentives to productive action. It is 
much more than a question of "the besetting sin." 
Say rather that it is the understanding and 
mastering of disposition or temperament, and 
the perfecting of character through Divine help. 
Through the individual's victory the same forces 
which apparently made for disease are now 
turned into account in favor of health so that they 
make for freedom. Thus the hardships of a sen- 
sitive disposition, misunderstood, become the 

Creative Health 231 

benefits of the same disposition brought into con- 
structive play. 

Many have wondered why greater results have 
not been achieved through mental healing, They 
have wondered too why there has sometimes been 
a return of former troubles and maladies, and 
why some patients have not been restored at all. 
Here is a prime reason. This greater work is spir- 
itual. It comes from Divine wisdom. No mere- 
ly mental therapeutist can ever bestow it upon 
another, although abundantly able to overcome 
superficial ills. It begins with that quickening 
of the soul which shows that only through inner 
regeneration is the individual brought into the 
living abundance known as creative health. 

It may well be that some are started on their 
way unwittingly, as in the case of those who found 
their health by forgetting themselves in a life of 
service. But we are saying that the greater step 
is into the spiritual knowledge which shows how 
the change is wrought, how health can become 
creatively permanent. In the same way others 
are started on the road by the use of denials and 
affirmations, without realizing that there is a 
more intelligent method. But the great consider- 
ation is change from mental methods to interior 
awareness that there is an influx of Life which 
is the constant source of health. It is knowledge 
of this influent Life which lifts the whole restora- 

232 Spiritual Health and Healing 

tive process and makes it creative. From this 
influx when known as guidance there comes the 
impetus to do one's greatest work in the world. 
Hence the whole pursuit of health changes into 
quest for the larger spiritual life. 

To put matters this way is to pass beyond 
former ideas concerning salvation and the ac- 
knowledgment of sin. These are implied, to be 
sure. A man must see with open eye what his 
selfishness was and what misery it caused. He 
must trace matters to his own self-love, must will 
to reform in order that the regenerative process 
may begin in earnest. Yet merely to be "saved" 
is little indeed in comparison with what the mod- 
ern world understands by the life through which 
a man is asked to prove by his works that he is 
saved. Ileal regeneration begins to show itself 
when life becomes constructive. 

Thus Saul, the sometime persecutor of the new 
faith taught by Jesus, became Paul the great 
apostle of the doctrine he once opposed. We are 
no longer concerned with what he was before 
his quickening came, but with the quickening im- 
petus which brought him "the mind of Christ." 

What might be accomplished if we should 
work first and last for these conditions which in- 
spire creative health? Few of us know, because 
we are not yet quickened in this spiritually con- 
structive way. We still dwell on human woe and 

Creative Health 233 

misery, condemning people for their sin and look- 
ing upon evil as a mystery. We still lament that 
no quick road to health is found for all. We still 
talk about doctrines as if they possessed magic 
power to save the soul. In our schools we still 
educate for the intellectual life, instead of train- 
ing the young to make ready for the fulness of 

What if we were to seek directly that spiritual 
life which not only makes for permanent health 
but discloses the purpose for which we live? 
What if we should begin forthwith by doing this 
work which God calls us to do, w r hether it seems 
to make for health or not? This would be adopt- 
ing in entire seriousness the promise that Christ 
came to bring the abundant life. It would imply 
firm belief in the spiritual law, namely, that we 
should first seek the kingdom of God and the 
righteousness pertaining to the kingdom before 
going in quest of the things which are to be 
added. It would be putting health on the spir- 
itual basis, as a gift of the Spirit. 



Looking back over the ground we have at- 
tained in the preceding chapters, we realize that 
while in spirit those who believe in healing by 
the Christ-method may be in accord, their under- 
standing of the method and the process may be 
very different. If we begin by declaring that 
the real self is never disturbed in spirit but ever 
remains true to the image and likeness of God, 
it would seem plain that the one course to pursue 
is to break from any impeding consciousness, 
affirm that the self is in perfect peace and health, 
and deny any alleged trouble. This is the simple 
method by which many have helped themselves 
and others. This process seems so successful 
that the tendency is to put all matters in the 
present tense, to claim as already true everything 
we aspire to be and will to realize. Hence it 
has become matter of habit with many to choose 
new affirmations for each week or month but 
always to phrase them as if the ideals they sug- 
gest were realized now. 

On the other hand, if we agree that our 


The Seceet Place 235 

troubles and diseases regarded in the light of 
their relation to character and the soul's welfare 
have spiritual causes which must be acknowl- 
edged and removed, to deny might be to gloss 
over and to procrastinate. Healing does not pass 
beyond the merely mental plane and become spir- 
itual until it has to do with our real attitude or 
prevailing love. Morally speaking, there is no 
substitute for coming to judgment in utter sin- 
cerity. What we need is to see the self and see 
it whole, with open eye. This self is indeed the 
spirit whose perfection we constantly affirm. 
This self is always a child of God, in His image 
and likeness, untouched in the inmost region. 
Yet why should we ever have reason to affirm 
its sanctity or deny the power of any influence 
to thwart it unless there were a problem needing 
solution and a difficulty to be overcome? 

It would seem well then to pass from the 
affirmative to the intuitive method as soon as we 
can, and begin thorough study of the hidden self. 
From the heights of theoretical affirmation there 
is bound to be a fall sooner or later. Why not 
come down as quickly as possible and adopt the 
attitude and the pace which we can maintain 
throughout the years? Surely we must do this 
if we are to pass beyond interest in merely mental 
health and healing to spiritual health and heal- 
ing. It will then become a question of that 

236 Spiritual Health and Healing 

greater truth of the Christ-spirit which sets men 
permanently free. 

Moreover, if we accept the idea of the Divine 
presence as an influx tending to produce changes 
calling for co-operation on our part from stage 
to stage, we must admit that much still remains 
to be attained. We not only do not find people 
possessing the open vision in large degree, re- 
sponsive in mind and body to the tide of the 
Spirit, but very few indeed who even have the 
idea of any such relationship. To gain an 
insight into this glorious possibility is to realize 
that one could hardly claim to possess such union 
with God unless one were to pretend to be the 
Christ in fulness. Instead of any sort of claim 
there is a prayer that, having had a glimpse of 
what this union may be, one may be progres- 
sively led into it. 

To endeavor to move forward with the influent 
Life, in order to give that Life full and free ex- 
pression, bringing mind and body into line stage 
by stage, is to be prepared in the first place to 
learn everything one can from any source con- 
cerning the present obstructions, that one may 
see where to begin. What we ought to know is 
the present or actual state of development, the 
needs just now at hand, together with the wisdom 
to meet those needs and see the way to take the 
next step in spiritual evolution. To discover these 

The Secret Place 237 

needs one must be in the attitude of frank ac- 
knowledgment, of willingness to learn and to be 
led. Thus one adopts the view that there is such 
a wealth of wisdom to be disclosed to us that it 
can only be given progressively. 

At the same time there is that other aspect of 
the truth, namely, that the self already is poten- 
tially what it presently becomes in actual expres- 
sion, so that all growth is realization. If we 
place too much stress on the affirmation of "our 
oneness with God," we tend to lose sight of the 
soul's progress through changing conditions from 
lower to higher. But if we put too much em- 
phasis on the conditions, w T e lose sight of the 
ideal. There is a point of view which includes 
these two truths. "So build we up the being that 
we are," says the poet. All progress is realiza- 
tion. Yet the conditions of growth are no less 
necessary. The hidden self already is what it 
would be. We cannot make the self over. We 
cannot reform our neighbors. In a sense the self 
never changes. Yet only through change does 
life continue. 

There is, in short, a course which the incoming 
Life takes through us in its age-long revelation 
of eternal truth and its continuous creation of 
the human spirit into perfection. What we need 
is a way of thinking which is faithful to actual 
experience as a progressive revelation, and a 

238 Spiritual Health and Healing 

method of response to the Spirit which makes us 
mindful of our present opportunities. We shall 
not be bound or limited by present conditions if 
we regard these as means which the Spirit takes 
to its high end. 

It is easy to lapse into the idea that the process 
of life through which we are passing is itself the 
whole reality. To break from this tendency we 
need a way to lift the spirit into renewed vision 
of the ideal. Hence we need to remind ourselves 
again and again that there is a secret place with- 
in the soul where we may always commune with 
God. Our sometime absorption in processes and 
conditions need never be taken to imply that the 
whole spirit is absorbed. Hence we may dwell 
for the time being on that other half of the truth 
that is too great for words, namely, that in spirit 
we are never disturbed, however great our aliena- 
tion in consciousness from the Father. 

It is never given us in our imperfect human 
speech to say precisely where God in wise and 
loving presence with us ceases, where man in his 
uplift of heart and will begins. But what lan- 
guage cannot directly say a scriptural passage 
may impressively suggest. Hence we say to our- 
selves, as if speaking for that Presence: "Be still, 
and know that I am God," endeavoring to be 
genuinely still as we repeat the passage: "Thou 
wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is 

The Secket Place 239 

stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee." 
"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most 
High shall abide under the shadow of the Al- 
mighty." These sayings bring us into the secret 
place as an experience, and that is what we need. 

When we are in need of help we naturally con- 
centrate upon the ideal, reminding ourselves that 
despite any appearance there is an inmost region 
of the spirit which remains untouched, in intimate 
relation with the heavenly influx. This is the 
side of our nature we wish to concentrate upon 
to gain a fresh impetus to turn once more to 
the experience of meeting the obstacles that lie 
in our path. When we turn toward the secret 
place in thought, we realize that with the over- 
coming of friction at the centre there will be a 
change throughout the organism. Hence we de- 
sire that touch with the renewing Life which shall 
send a thrill throughout our being comparable 
to that which comes when we are deeply touched 
by familiar music after having been long de- 
prived of it. In the moment of detaching our 
consciousness from outward things to renew the 
ideal in the secret place, we may well yield our- 
selves to the experience as if nothing else were 
true, as if nothing else existed. 

To avoid the pitfalls of self -absorption and ab- 
straction in which some find themselves at this 
point, we need a clearer way of thinking about 

240 Spiritual Health and Healing 

the human spirit or self in contrast with the mind 
and the body. By the human spirit we mean both 
the immortal part of us, the soul or son of God 
created in His image and likeness, already dwell- 
ing in the spiritual world, and the being who is 
conscious and self-conscious in the successive 
phases of natural existence. That is to say, the 
spirit potentially is far nobler in quality and 
greater in power than in any actual experience 
we yet know. The spirit is in part an ideal or 
purpose. But the spirit is also the self or soul 
already aware of an ideal in contrast with the 
conditions of life round about us in the natural 
world. The spirit is the distinctive individual, 
the permanent identity or ego surviving any sort 
of change. Yet we are learning to know our- 
selves here in this world through changes. The 
human spirit in ideal is one, is a consistent har- 
mony of all its elements or qualities enduring 
through any vicissitudes. Yet in present expe- 
rience we find ourselves far from this unity. 

It is untrue to declare, as some affirm, that 
whatever is true of God as Infinite Spirit is true 
of us as finite spirits; for God as infinite, un- 
created, is all-encompassing Life, while we are 
recipients, each with his place and his gifts. The 
secret place is not the point of "blending" but 
the region where we may attain adjustment and 
unison leading to co-operation, God and man re- 

The Secket Place 241 

maining distinct. The secret place is a sphere of 
attainment, not of relapse, resignation or absorp- 
tion. It would have no meaning for us at all un- 
less it disclosed to us "the flying perfect" ever 
leading us on toward the goal of social realiza- 
tion which we call the kingdom of heaven. Forth 
from our renewed experience of the ideal there 
ought always to proceed clearer thinking, as we 
turn from spirit to mind, from mind to body. 

By the term "mind" we mean the whole com- 
plexity and variety of activities taking place 
within us, from sensation to intuition in its high- 
est moments. We mean, further, the different 
levels or planes of consciousness, the differences 
between inner and outer conditions, interior and 
exterior states, the subjective and the objective, 
and all those contrasts which we know as duality 
of self or conflict of voices. The mind is in close 
relation with the brain and through the brain with 
the whole body. But the spirit's most intimate 
relation is with God, without whose constant pres- 
ence there would not be one moment of being. 

When we try to give full meaning to the inter- 
mediate term "mind," hence by contrast to know 
the secret places of the spirit, it is helpful to make 
the transition in thought from outward things to 
the inmost sanctuary. 1 The starting-point of the 
mind in this process is with sensation. Sensa- 

iSee also "The Open Vision," p. 140. 

242 Spiritual Health and Healing 

tions give us " things," with color, light, heat, 
sound, touch, and the rest. Then come emotions 
and feelings associating themselves with sensa- 
tion, such as fear or pleasure. Desires arise, too, 
in this association with things around us in the 
world. By "will" we mean the more interior ele- 
ment of our mental life through which we select 
between desires, eliminating some, overcoming 
and using others, and transfiguring those that are 
most eligible. Will possesses a freedom which 
desires could never have, hence will springs from 
within and at its best expresses the heart. Then, 
too, there is thought, the intellect or understand- 
ing. What we will to do and to be depends not 
alone upon the selection between desires but upon 
analysis, interpretation, and reasoning. All these 
qualities of our inner life pertain to "mind." 

What is it that possesses mind, that feels, 
thinks and wills? The human spirit. When does 
the spirit act from within in contrast with its 
responsiveness to interests from without? When 
it possesses "the understanding heart." The 
spirit thinks and wills from within when it thinks 
from enlightenment and from the Divine love. 
The various mental elements whereby the spirit 
expresses itself in action then become like obedi- 
ent servants doing the will of a wise master. The 
spirit is the real master. Mind might be a faith- 
ful servant in each of us if we understood and 

The Secret Place 243 

had learned to control all the mental elements. 
It is the spirit that controls. It is the mind that 
is brought into order. 

So far each of us may confirm the description 
by experience. By "the secret place" we mean 
something more than the self -consciousness which 
shows us the difference between mind and spirit. 
For self -consciousness, we know, is often an in- 
terference, and when we would be receptive we 
try too hard to be still, or permit our thought to 
suggest too many ideas. Consciousness does not 
follow into the secret place to tell us just when 
God is present there with His guiding wisdom 
and sustaining love. But consciousness does 
yield the great contrast between our lesser and 
our larger moments. 

What figure of speech shall we choose to ex- 
press the ineffable union of God and man in the 
secret place? Let us keep to the imagery which 
the term "life" suggests. Life, we know, moves 
forward, brings changes. Its inflow is like that 
of a stream with its current and its waves or 
rhythms. It moves harmoniously in a ready 
channel. It struggles against any obstacle. If 
impeded, its flow is affected by the obstacle, often 
seriously so. 

Far more truly than in the case of a river im- 
peded by obstructions in its course, the life-cur- 
rent within us depends upon our response. The 

244 Spiritual Health and Healing 

secret place in the inmost of the spirit is the re- 
gion of intimate relationship between guiding 
life and recipient soul, ready or not to be guided 
as the case may be. Life comes as pure essence. 
It is received by the heart through affection and 
will as love. It is then received by the under- 
standing as light. The understanding heart is 
quickened by heavenly love and wisdom. Thus 
quickened in willingness to be guided, respond- 
ing to love as Divine, to wisdom as Divine, taking 
no credit to itself, the human spirit is prompted 
from within in the secret place, and the under- 
standing "thinks with the spirit" instead of think- 
ing merely with the brain. The whole inner life 
may then be prompted from the secret place, 
mind as a whole may respond, and the brain as a 
whole will become obedient. 

Sometimes this relationship of God and man is 
thought of merely in the light of receptivity. But 
as important as receptivity may be, it is only the 
beginning. The secret place is indeed the place 
of worship, the place for listening, waiting humil- 
ity. Our help is indeed solely in the Lord. Yet 
we have our whole mental life to bring into play, 
and unless we enlist thought and will, feeling and 
the sense of effort in activities springing from the 
Lord these mental elements will find some other 
outlet. The spirit is not alone a recipient of 
Life but also able to assimilate and co-operate. 

The Seceet Place 245 

The secret place is the place for beginning to do 
things. Our great need is to return there for 
fresh quickening, a new touch with Life, then 
outgoing activity expressing Life in our human 
activities. It is the place of conjunction between 
the Divine and the human. The ideal of this 
union is the Divine-human, the Christ. The 
place is the region of the incarnation of the heav- 
enly Heart in the human heart. 

Incarnation means, for the individual, re- 
sponse according to need, purpose and capacity, 
leading to concrete or practical action. We are 
most likely to be quickened in large measure by 
an individual need when we seek the quietude of 
the secret place in order to serve another. We 
are uplifted by the idea of the Divine purpose 
for us when we realize that through the secret 
place we may be led to act more wisely than we 
know, may be led to do just our work in the 
world. That it is a question of capacity we see 
clearly when we note how greatly individuals dif- 
fer in talents or gifts. What our own capacity 
for receiving may be we never learn save so far 
as we pass far beyond receptivity to effective ex- 
pression. What the Divine purpose is for us we 
learn in large part by experience, not by theoriz- 
ing. What we most need we ourselves seldom 
know, but we may seek the inner silence in read- 
iness to be filled according to need. 

246 Spiritual Health and Healing 

Humility is a word seldom used nowadays by 
those who have reacted against the old theology. 
It seems now to be solely a question of self- 
reliance and self-realization. Yet something like 
humility we always need when likely to express 
self-love, pride, mere learning or self-righteous- 
ness. There will always be tendencies into side 
issues and temptations so long as we are human. 
Humility is the corrective of self-assertiveness. 
One might under-estimate the self, hence fail to 
stand upright in the secret place. But most of 
us are likely to err the other way. 

What we need above all, on the human side, is 
enlightenment to the effect that there is a move- 
ment of Life outward from the secret place into 
the understanding or intellectual life, hence 
throughout the mind and into the body. We 
need to think of life as dynamic, with us to 
achieve and to achieve with energy. We need to 
think of this dynamic Life as achieving by taking 
a certain direction, pursuing an end. Our part is 
very far from merely passive adjustment. Our 
part is responsive movement forward with Life. 
Life is creative. So must our response be. 

In our ordinary thinking we are apt to limit 
creative genius to the poet, composer or sculptor, 
that is, to the lover of Beauty. But far more 
truly the lover of Truth is a creative recipient of 
Life. The Spirit is with us to attain creative 

The Seceet Place 247 

expression through us in behalf of Beauty, 
Truth, and Goodness, the eternal Ideas. These 
are the three great ends. There is one Spirit 
with diversity of gifts making toward the eternal 
values or ideas. If we are not artists or philos- 
ophers, we may be servants of goodness, and the 
Good is as genuinely and surely creative as Truth 
and Beauty. Indeed, creative goodness pertains 
to each of us as an individual, as a child of God. 
Life is with us to carry forward our creation in 
His image and likeness. 

The highest gift of intuition as quickened from 
the secret place is creative insight into the nature 
and powers of the individual. At times we are 
so fortunate as to be given this insight into an- 
other's soul. Seeing the ideal latent there we do 
what we can to summon it into power. We en- 
courage, we advise, we point out opportunities. 
We show that the soul tends to "make circum- 
stance," to find its creative opportunity. But 
better still we show that just as we have become 
somewhat acquainted with the secret place and 
begun to learn at home, so the soul we are cre- 
atively advising can learn to go to direct sources 
and be guided from within. Thus it may be given 
us to summon the soul from knowing to doing, 
from discipleship into leadership. The true spir- 
itual leader has this creative touch with Life. To 
say this is not to claim that man as such is a ere- 

248 Spiritual Health and Healing 

ator or giver of life. There is but one Creator, 
one source of life. But there is a creative rela- 
tion to the human spirit in the secret place. It 
would not be a "secret" place if we knew just 
why and how. Suffice it that experience itself 
discloses this creative presence of Life. 

If you would think with the spirit, instead of 
merely working your brain, turn from outward 
things in renewed consecration to Life, lifting 
your problem into spiritual light to receive the 
heavenly guidance you may need. Give yourself 
time to listen, to meditate, but also give yourself 
time to assimilate from Life and time to grow. 
Remember that there is a movement from within 
outward, from heart to understanding. Seek, 
therefore, both the impetus of heart from Love 
and the light which shines from Wisdom. In 
other words, let your "leading" develop, expect it 
to develop in detail and become complete, just as 
a composer expects to develop and complete his 
theme till his symphony is finished. The secret 
place is the place of essences intuitively appre- 
hended. What the understanding does is to work 
out the essence. By an "essence" one means the 
pure leading, the intuitively perceived whole, like 
the composer's theme. It may be compared to 
pure light. The light tends to distribute itself 
into even the darkest corner of the mind. Fol- 
lowing the light and trying faithfully to live by 

The Secket Place 249 

it, we grasp the meaning of our experiences little 
by little, we see laws, understand principles, 
think from causes to effects. 

With utmost confidence then one may believe 
in the secret place, endeavoring to live from it, 
to be guided by its light. All the power we once 
put into self-assertion we may now put into cre- 
ative self-expression through this Wisdom. All 
the rebellion we may have felt can become har- 
mony. All negative attitudes can give place to 
the positive responsiveness which makes for spir- 
itual service. Quiet and free, open and poised 
at the centre, we may think and will, feel and act 
from the enlightened centre, with Life imbuing 
our life. Open at the centre, we may grow into 
greater responsiveness through our daily con- 
duct, not only overcoming the nervous wear and 
tear, the tensions and strains which impede, but 
also the external activities not yet in correspond- 
ence. The ideal throughout is harmony between 
inner and outer, correspondence between the 
eternal life and the ideal in the secret place. 
"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most 
High shall abide under the shadow of the Al- 
mighty.'' "Be still, and know that I am God." 



To demonstrate is to establish in outward ex- 
pression. It is to prove, verify, know for our- 
selves. Its basis is either a principle which we 
understand and wish to exemplify, or an item of 
faith which we simply take on trust and hope to 
understand when we have proved it. Demon- 
stration is commonly regarded as the test every 
individual must meet. For we have ceased to 
believe in teachings which bear no consequences 
in actual life, and it is the test which the individ- 
ual makes that shows whether a belief is work- 
able. To verify for ourselves we must come 
down to the concrete and observe the results 
in daily experience. Moreover, "the laborer is 
worthy of his hire," each man ought to show by 
the rewards or consequences which follow that his 
work is in accord with the spiritual law. Since 
there is a boundless source upon which to draw, 
we show our relation to it when the results prove 
the law of abundance. 

The reason some people fail to demonstrate is 


How to Demonstrate 251 

not then hard to find. They fail because their 
theories are too abstract, too remote from life; 
because they do not understand practical life well 
enough to know where to begin with a need im- 
mediately at hand. 

The idea prevails, for example, that by hold- 
ing in mind the right thought it is possible for 
anyone to "attract" all the conditions he desires. 
The thought or formula repeatedly affirmed is 
supposed to act like a magic influence to draw 
what is desired. In this way we can not only 
gain health without working in any other way to 
secure it, but win prosperity merely because we 
want it. Prosperity, in fact, becomes a direct 
object of pursuit, like a hobby. To "affirm 
abundance" is forthwith to gain it. One may, it 
is said, direct affirmative thoughts to people of 
wealth and draw money or other possessions from 
them, one may picture desired possessions and 
study mental influences tending to enlist the help 
of people who can open the way to secure these 
possessions. In short, to demonstrate is to pro- 
cure what you want through suggestion. The 
principle of "mental attraction" discloses the 
royal road to success. The ability to "demon- 
strate supply" is the test of one's real power. 
Prosperity is a sign of salvation. 

From a spiritual point of view this is contrary 
to order. If the laborer is "worthy of his hire," 

252 Spiritual Health and Healing 

the way to prove worthy is first to do some work 
which merits reward according to value rendered. 
Therefore, first serve, first live by the spiritual 
law, labor for and love the more truly your fel- 
low men. If you have greater needs and require 
additional resources, more co - workers, more 
money: then give more freely, express yourself 
more fully, make manifest your faith through 
actual service. If certain kinds of spiritual work 
bring greater results and you are prompted to 
enlarge your sphere of usefulness, consecrate 
yourself anew to these opportunities. Begin at 
the centre, not on the circumference. Do not 
follow the inverted order by first seeking 
"things" that "the kingdom" may be added, but 
seek first the kingdom of God and find a place to 
serve in a work which is making for the fuller 
realization of that kingdom here on earth. It is 
not a question of personal influence at all, since 
one has no desire to "attract" things from people 
by any insidious process. It is not primarily a 
question of affirmation, since affirmation must be 
followed by work entitling one to its rewards. 
Nor is it essentially a matter of attraction, as if 
one's inner fitness had nothing to do with circum- 
stances. There is indeed correspondence be- 
tween inward need and outward supply, but this 
attraction is by spiritual law, not by caprice. The 
prime consideration is service which prepares the 

How to Demonstrate 253 

way for more favorable conditions as rapidly as 
the soul becomes worthy. It is Divine law which 
presides over the selection of conditions, not our 
own desire. 

If we begin by affirming all perfection as 
present with us now, denying that man ever 
learns or gains anything by experience, ignoring 
nature and making light of natural law, we put 
ourselves into an artificial world of thought re- 
mote from life as whole-hearted people know it. 
Affirming perfection in the abstract, claiming 
for ourselves what is true of God only, we then 
wonder why health, freedom and prosperity do 
not come our way. It is very difficult for any- 
body, however wise, to teach us anything while 
we remain in this theoretical position; for we 
have cut ourselves off from all sources of knowl- 
edge. Where all is claimed as accomplished and 
perfect now, there is of course nothing to be de- 
sired, nothing to do; hence nothing comes to us 
with life in it. 

A return to natural conditions is devoutly to 
be desired for all who have isolated themselves 
from growth through experience. There may be 
other and more direct means of quickening us 
than through the slowly moving processes of our 
understanding. But not even intuition or "rev- 
elation" gives us sure knowledge "out of hand." 
Any principle offered us as truth becomes true 

254 Spiritual Health and Healing 

for us only when we have proved it by experi- 
ence. That is precisely what we mean by "dem- 
onstration. " We do not really know until we 
have lived. Actual life is likely to be different 
from our expectations. We need the open mind. 
It is detrimental to be tied to a theory which is 
like an anchor to windward. 

Since there is order or sequence in all things, 
no one can really make a leap beyond the con- 
ditions which the soul needs, whatever illusions 
to the contrary there may be. Since there is cor- 
respondence between inner and outer conditions, 
what the soul really attracts is what is needed. 
The law of change is from within outward, not 
to conditions created in imagination by ignoring 
natural law and the spiritual ideal, but to circum- 
stances essential to inner development. We can- 
not "demonstrate over" nature, although we may 
seem to, for example, when we steadily reduce 
the amount of food, rest and sleep we take with 
the assumption that these matters depend solely 
on our thought about them. We cannot change 
one hair white or black in the actual world to 
be faced and understood. Our road lies through 
the conditions which people ignore when they 
indulge in abstract affirmations. There is no 
such thing as evasion in the moral realm. Action 
and reaction are still equal. No alleged royal 
road can compare with the one which is disclosed 

How to Demonstrate 255 

when we frankly acknowledge actual motives 
and seek God's help for real needs. 

True demonstration is never the result of self- 
assertion. It is only in part a consequence of 
consciously chosen ends. More truly, it is a co- 
operative result, involving experiences we did not 
foresee and a wisdom greater than our own. It 
comes from inner adjustment and willingness to 
let Life have its way through us. Any prayer 
we may utter in our effort to attain it should in- 
clude the Christian qualification, "Thy will, not 
mine, be done." 

Our actual spiritual state is a condition, not a 
theory. We need not fear to look at things as 
they seem to be. True courage is not afraid of 
illusions, shadows or errors. We may look with 
open eye straight through any "claim" that be- 
sets us, noting its sources and associations, its hold 
upon us, and the point of contact which made 
our servitude possible. It is truth that sets men 
free, not the assertion of freedom when we dare 
not look at our own past lest we enter into it 
again. We are never really free until we under- 
stand, and when the vision comes the clouds clear 
away by themselves. We are then in the position 
of the one who, mistaking a stump for a bear 
in the dark forest, has marched up to the harm- 
less thing and found out that it is merely a 

256 Spiritual Health and Healing 

stump. What we need is the right interpretation 
of things as they are. 

On the other hand, it is as easy to fail to dem- 
onstrate by being too much absorbed in mere con- 
ditions and processes. If some overdo the mat- 
ter in one direction by ignoring the conditions of 
spiritual development, others go to the extreme 
in the opposite direction by analyzing too much 
and becoming enveloped in details. The newer 
methods of healing are, on the whole, a reaction 
against the old-time introspection with its em- 
phasis on our sins and the need for acknowl- 
edging our errors and mistakes. The reaction 
is a sound one and has come to stay. What we 
now need is primary emphasis on the Spirit 
which accomplishes, with willingness to learn the 
essential lessons of life while not dwelling too 
long on mere details. 

To demonstrate is to disconnect our attention 
from mere processes and unite in consciousness 
with the higher level of life, give our thought to 
the Spirit. To demonstrate is to turn about and 
become affirmative in every respect in which our 
attitude is still negative. When we are determi- 
nately positive we may learn the lessons of past 
experience without entering into details and con- 
ditions. There are times for looking back to 
learn and times when we should cut free as if the 
past had never existed. 

How to Demonstrate 257 

To demonstrate one should not attempt to 
overcome everything at once. Sufficient unto the 
day is the problem we can best begin to solve 
today. When we give our attention to that, con- 
centrating our efforts upon the immediate prac- 
tical need, we find that demonstration means, 
grounding things ideal in things actual. To 
demonstrate is to be specific, concrete, definite. 
Hence we make progress toward the perfect 
demonstration when we limit our interests and 
our thoughts, with one central purpose before 
us, with the eye single to truth. Thus a man be- 
gins to demonstrate in earnest when he dares to 
stand for what he believes is true in an actual 
instance relating him with his fellow men today, 
although what he believes may not be popular 
and what he does may require great courage. 

Frequently, our efforts fall short because we 
indulge in so many aspirations in various direc- 
tions that we make headway in none. Here is 
a man, for example, who is high-strung, nervous, 
intense and emotional in great degree. He never 
permits anyone to pass him, he rushes when he 
works, eats with nervous haste, and writes with 
restless rapidity. His good resolutions lead to 
nothing. He affirms his general "oneness with 
God" to little effect. He receives treatment 
from an abstractionist healer, but nothing comes 
of it. At last he takes himself in the act, resolves 

258 Spiritual Health and Healing 

to master one habit ait a time, and begins by- 
practising upon his handwriting, making each 
stroke of the pen with moderation, concentrating 
his attention upon the actual movements of 
his hand. The result is a pleasure he has never 
before experienced in his life, a sense of power 
in doing something with inner control. He sees 
at last what poise is, not as an assumed state, but 
one that a person can grow into throughout one's 
life, a state that is gradually developed through 
performing activities with inner control and con- 
centration. He now makes steady headway be- 
cause he is taking over a habit which hitherto 
simply swept him forward to do its restless bid- 
ding. So any of us might make headway if we 
would resolutely face something to be conquered 
by meeting it with a consciousness of what it is 
in us that wins all victories. 

To adapt oneself to Life's way instead of try- 
ing to find a short cut of our own, is to realize 
anew that all real efficiency is from God. Both 
the driving force (love) and the directing force 
(wisdom) are from Him. What we ought to 
demonstrate is the Divine image and likeness, 
not the psychological presentment which grati- 
fies our vanity. We wish, if our desires have 
really become spiritual, to find God's way and 
walk in it wherever it may lead, whether the 
vicissitudes of the path are what we prefer or 

How to Demonstrate 259 

not. We do not know ourselves in entirety yet. 
We are not aware of all the conditions to be met 
or all the elements to be overcome. We should 
not then claim to know the appropriate times and 
seasons. As human beings we are not managers 
of the conditions which best develop the soul. We 
are not here to dictate terms. At best we trust 
our guide may find us ready, when Wisdom 
speaks, when Love impels. What must be "dem- 
onstrated over" is our selfishness or self-love, and 
the victory over self is won only through heav- 
enly aid. 

Hence the power of the Spirit is the only real 
power that demonstrates. If our spirit bears 
witness together with the Holy Spirit that these 
heavenly things are true, so that we will to fol- 
low in the Spirit's way, then what comes by way 
of proof is sign and symbol of what has been 
divinely wrought in us. The "signs following," 
the first-fruits which show what went before, are 
needed to teach us the law of perfect demonstra- 
tion; because only when spiritual realities have 
been ultimated or expressed do they become com- 
plete. The power which seemed to be in the 
human will alone, or in the Spirit welcomed in 
reverential receptivity, was in neither exclusively. 
The human spirit had to be willing. God had 
to be at hand. But the Spirit's might is seen 
when God and man in union conquer outward 

260 Spiritual Health and Healing 

circumstances through inward victory. The full 
truth is never seen till the thing is done. The 
abundant life is the life of full practical realiza- 
tion in the flesh, in natural things. "By their 
fruits ye shall know them." 

If I am still minded to ask, How then shall I 
demonstrate? the answer is not that I must wait 
until God does His part. Mere watchful wait- 
ing may be as far from the right attitude as the 
old-time attitude of Christian resignation. The 
spiritual law is that I should act from God's 
power "as if" that power were my own. Unless 
I make the effort, unless I put forth the energy 
to conquer something that is before me, such as 
a tendency to drive forward with restless energy, 
I do not put myself in line with the Life that is 
here to win the victory. My part is to show that 
I am ready to take the practical initiative, and 
follow up my prayers with deeds done. 

Let us make the matter simple. Here is a day 
when one feels an inward need. There is a diffi- 
culty to be overcome, a problem to be solved, or 
someone to be helped. Let me then go apart by 
myself and seek the quiet sanctuary of the Spirit 
once more. "Be still, and know that I am God," 
I say to myself, with the realization that God is 
present like an Over-soul to guide and illumine 
me. May I trust in Him so that my mind shall 
be "stayed" upon His wisdom. May I be at 

How to Demonstrate 261 

peace so that some measure of His peace shall 
touch my spirit with tranquillity. Then may I 
see the way in the special direction in which I 
need light. 

What I affirm as true, now, is the God-ward 
part of my life, the perfect peace in which the 
Father can keep me, the infinite wisdom ade- 
quate to meet all occasions, the perfect love which 
casts out all fear. If I did not lack this peace 
there would be no reason for seeking it. If I 
realized all wisdom I should have no problem to 
bring forward for solution. If perfect love con- 
trolled my heart I should not have "one fear to 
conquer each day." Inevitably then I must take 
an attitude in my quest for help which admits 
a lack, with humility or readiness enough to make 
me receptive. Since the Father already knows 
the way whereon I should walk, since He has 
provided for every need, my part is to listen and 
make myself ready in the secret place that I may 
receive what the Father has provided. 

What I must do, therefore, in order to demon- 
strate is to put out of the way whatever thought, 
attitude of will, emotion, habit, deed or mode of 
conduct there may be that interferes with the 
coming of what the Father has provided. Then 
when my thinking, my willing and my conduct 
follow the spiritual order, I may indeed make 
use of my imaging power, my affirmations and 

262 Spiritual Health and Healing 

all the rest of my psychological equipment, to 
foster the things of the Spirit. The hard part 
for most of us is to attain the spiritual order. 
We want things to come in our way and when we 
want them. We would like to sail serenely down 
the stream of time with everything that could 
gratify human desire floating to us out of the air, 
while we smilingly discourse on the success of 
our demonstrations. But that is not the order of 
things in the spiritual life. Interiorly we have 
only what we deserve. What we now possess 
came to us in relation to what we were. We tried 
"to get" rather than to give. We worked hard 
to accumulate possessions and now we propose 
to enjoy them. We looked out for Number One. 
At first thought these new teachings about sug- 
gestion and the subconscious mind seem to afford 
a still more successful way of putting self first. 
But sober second thought shows that in all 
things there reigns a spiritual law such that we 
need to seek the Spirit first, we need to give, to 
be, to make manifest. When we have made the 
great effort, that is, in the overcoming of self 
and self-love, we shall find that matters are right- 
ing themselves and seeking new positions in rela- 
tion to the new inner centre of equilibrium. 

The new teaching of our time shows how to 
begin more immediately where beginnings are 
effective, that is, with ourselves. No one who 

How to Demonstrate 263 

sincerely wishes to live by the spiritual law will 
find himself without guidance. There is always 
something at hand to begin upon. There is 
always some word of wisdom we can begin to 
apply. To demonstrate is to begin. To begin is 
to find the little becoming more. "God helps 
those who help themselves." And this deeper 
self-helpfulness means in the language of the 
new philosophy of healing a growing recognition 
on our part of "the Science of the Christ." 

To be prepared to demonstrate in the most 
successful way, therefore, we need to be as well 
equipped as we can in knowledge of what we 
have defined in the foregoing chapters as "the 
priceless possession." There should no longer 
be any theoretical barrier which keeps us from 
looking directly to the supreme sources of life 
and wisdom. There is in very truth a spiritual 
science which we may all begin to apply, to 
verify for ourselves. There is for all an ideal of 
Christian living which is workable here and now. 
This science we may adopt and practise as a 
science which is true in its own right over and 
above or apart from any particular interpreta- 
tion of the Gospels that may be espoused by a 
given sect. Hence it is well to carry the inquiry 
into this science far enough to have a practical 
way of thinking about the human Jesus and the 
resurrection or glorification, always keeping in 

264 Spiritual Health and Healing 

mind that from the point of view of spiritual 
health and healing these are practical, not theo- 
logical, matters. 

That is to say, nearly everyone who owns 
allegiance to a sect or denomination of the 
Christian Church is likely to take exception to 
the distinction drawn between "the Christ" as 
considered above, Chap. Ill, and "the human 
Jesus," when it is a question of theology. Some 
will prefer the teaching of the Episcopal Church, 
hence will emphasize the Pauline Epistles, and 
will speak of "our Lord." Others will reinter- 
pret what follows so that the human Jesus will 
become "the Lord." Still others will prefer the 
title of "the Son of God." We plead for the 
direct reading of the Gospels themselves as 
guides to practical life and spiritual healing, 
since this distinction between Jesus and the 
Christ has proved so helpful. Each reader will 
then be free in other connections to reinterpret 
as he chooses. For the present we are concerned 
with the gospel of healing. The acknowledg- 
ment of the Lord should bring this practical real- 
ization. To demonstrate in Christian terms is 
thus to carry our idealism concerning the Christ 
into the ultimate. To demonstrate is to see that 
regeneration of some sort should follow. Hence 
we need to carry our practical thought through 
to the end. 



The term "spiritual healing" as we have been 
using it in these pages indicates both the source 
of power and the special method employed. The 
efficiency is attributed, not to human thought, not 
to the individual will, self, or attitude ; but to the 
Divine presence realized through inner respon- 
siveness and co-operation, and made forceful 
through the human spirit as means or agency. 
The special method involves the attitude and 
agencies of the inner life, through the use of silent 
meditation, control of the energies centring about 
the self, poise, peace, and an affirmative faith 
made practical through psychological knowl- 
edge. This method is further distinguished 
by the effort of those who employ it to under- 
stand and overcome the more serious difficulties 
of the life of suffering, to gain freedom for the 
individual, and to solve the more central prob- 
lems of those who are sensitively organized, 
Spiritual healing has for its object the actual 
overcoming of the inner causes and conditions 


266 Spiritual Health and Healing 

which produce ill-health and misery, in contrast 
with methods which deal with surfaces only. Thus 
it involves not merely temporary alleviation of 
human ills, and the help which one soul can give 
another; but an educational process extending 
out into the social world. It may begin and 
usually does start with the alleviation of pain, 
and the use of "silent treatment" for those who 
are unable as yet to draw upon inner resources 
for themselves. It may at first be wholly con- 
cerned with problems of ill-health. But pres- 
ently it leads to character-building, the "soul's 
problem" or the mastery of temperament, and 
the whole question of "salvation" or the new 
birth. It changes from the silent method to con- 
versational studies, the art of the spiritual life, 
and spiritual re-education. 

Spiritual healing, therefore, like the original 
Christianity, ministers to the whole individual, as 
a physical or natural' being, as mental and social, 
moral and spiritual. Thus it takes all the facts 
and conditions of disease and suffering into ac- 
count, ignoring nothing. It frankly faces the 
facts of heredity and environment, the given so- 
cial atmosphere, noting man's multiform nature, 
conscious and subconscious. But whatever the 
character and force of the external circumstances 
in a given case, the centre of activity is found in 
the inner life. Hence the method employed im- 

Summary and Definition 267 

plies the use of those superior agencies accessible 
to the human spirit which touch the heart. If, 
for example, "perfect love casteth out fear," we 
are concerned not with the fears to be cast out 
but with the conditions that enlist the aid of "per- 
fect love." If there is an inner peace which "pass- 
eth all understanding," we must endeavor to rise 
above our ordinary mental processes to realize 
this peace through actual inner experience. 

The surpassing gift which our age has be- 
stowed upon us is this immediate spiritual clue 
to the resources of the Divine presence. Too 
often in the past God has been merely historical, 
heaven elsewhere, and spiritual realities mere 
matters to read about. It has seemed to many 
that if they could not conform to the established 
usages and beliefs of the Church their faith 
would go. The new age assures us that Divine 
realities are not dependent on time or place, on 
creeds, institutions or books ; but on the individ- 
ual's recognition and use. Here, in the priceless 
eternity which is ever ours, there resides all the 
power, the wisdom, the love and peace we need. 
We need not make the effort difficult. We need 
not look for the marvellous. Wherever placed 
and however constituted, we may begin today 
to look within and above, basing our faith on 
the conviction that man is by nature so fashioned 
as to live in the spiritual world, to apprehend the 

268 Spiritual Health and Healing 

Divine presence and to live by it. We may in a 
measure need to look back to great historical 
scenes in the spiritual life to regain the impetus, 
but only that we may recover the Christianity 
which ministers to the whole man. 

To be sure, one must in a measure become 
aware of the urgent needs in oneself and others. 
We all have our repressed emotional states, our 
dissatisfactions and interior conflicts. We lack 
repose, we give way to fancies, worries, excite- 
ments. Few of us possess sufficient control and 
mental co-ordination to use all our energies to 
advantage. It is difficult for most of us to draw 
a line of distinction between the fleshly organism 
and the soul, hence much effort is required to 
work our way into the inner life as a conscious 
centre of reality open to Divine resources. Yet 
we need not urge ourselves. The first step is to 
become inwardly still, that we may by contrast 
realize the difference between the outward play 
of consciousness and the inward activity which, 
through its intervals, makes known the finer ener- 
gies of the spirit. 

Disease is inefficiency, scattering of force, ner- 
vous constraint, tension. This is seen in the case 
of one who is over-zealous in the effort to get 
ahead in the world, who is self -coercive, insistent, 
drawing upon the supply of nerve-energy to the 
limit, and suffering from the subsequent exhaus- 

Summary and Definition 269 

tion and collapse. It is seen in the case of one 
who is morbidly self-conscious, unsocial, cut off 
from the usual activities of domestic life, hence 
repressed, cramped in spirit. There is much 
more to be said about ill-health than this. The 
general physician would add his physiological 
diagnosis, the nerve-specialist his description, 
and so on. But we are here concerned with 
crucial matters. At heart the over-zealousness 
which expresses itself in nervous tensions and 
exhaustion may spring from undue love of self 
and the world, from a certain ambition or ruling 
desire which must be understood and corrected. 
The true cure comes with the discovery that what 
we truly desire, what we can best do in the world, 
is possible through quiet self-knowledge and in- 
terior control, through thoughtful adjustment to 
life. Health in this sense is spiritual efficiency, 
the wise use of all our forces from the centre ; it 
is spiritual freedom and adequate self-expression 
through the Divine purpose. 

We are all at some stage of the journey on 
this the highway of life. We were started forth 
by incentives which we did not understand. We 
have had experiences which we never consciously 
sought. But what truly impelled us one and all 
was longing for the fulness of life, desire to find 
our place and do our work in the world. We 
have not proceeded at random, although this has 

270 Spiritual Health and Healing 

often seemed to be the case. We have passed 
through the testing- times that we needed. Each 
man of us belongs where he is today. There is 
no reason to complain, spiritually speaking. 
What is called for is, awareness of the situation, 
the fact of correspondence between inner cir- 
cumstance and type, between our real environ- 
ment and the purpose to be realized through co- 
operation with Divine guidance. 

When we gain the inner point of view we re- 
alize that life is constituted for the welfare of 
the soul, with all the laws, powers, guidances and 
conditions required. Being thus organized, life 
could not at the same time be for external things 
simply. Life is adapted to that which is most 
worth while, to freedom, truth, beauty, service; 
heaven, order, harmony, mutual life as "members 
one of another/' howbeit man has tried to take 
life as if meant for the realization of his desire to 
possess outward things to the exclusion of his 
brother and the neglect of God. Naturally we 
are perplexed and mystified, till we learn this. 
As naturally we mistake the physical organism 
for the soul, searching for external causes of our 
disquietude and misery, disparaging life and con- 
demning our Maker. Inevitably our friction in- 
creases, while in our ignorance and self-will we 
persist in going counter to Life. 

Spiritual healing reverses all this. It shows 

Summary and Definition 271 

us that we are in process, frequently suffering 
from a sense of division within the self. By con- 
trast we then learn that we have mistaken the 
process for the efficiency, the means for the end ; 
we have even mistaken this wonderful instrument 
of ours, the physical organism, for the individual 
who uses it. Thus we have become imprisoned 
within the flesh, swept off our feet by whirlwinds 
of excitement and fear, our substance gnawed 
by nervous friction. Thus we have moved on 
from moment to moment in the mere feeling or 
thought of the passing hour; living in fragments, 
shifting from mood to mood. We have had no 
sense of unity or wholeness, no interior consist- 
ency or constancy. Sometimes we have striven, 
sometimes we have yielded. Now we have 
prayed, and now rebelled as if the whole world 
were against us. Some of us have been far too 
self-assertive, while others have surrendered too 
frequently. Thus we have lacked balance, repose. 
What is the faith that makes whole? What 
was meant when the Master said, "Thy faith 
hath made thee whole?" Surely, the Divine love 
thus appealing to the soul through the open chan- 
nel of faith touched the entire individual, not 
with reference to sin or disease alone. Such was 
the openness, the responsiveness of spirit on the 
part of those who came for salvation (whole- 
ness), that the entire inner life was ready, gave 

272 Spiritual Health and Healing 

itself in aspiration. That which we intellectual 
mortals strive to attain by varied efforts during 
the weeks and months and years was thereby 
achieved all at once. All the inner obstacles gave 
way, the fears vanished, the excitements sub- 
sided, the worries ceased, the tensions were re- 
moved, the suppressions yielded. The real inner 
self was thereby called into play. Such healing 
was in fact creative, it produced a new combina- 
tion of powers, achieved a synthesis amidst hith- 
erto conflicting forces. Would that you and 
I could so fully give ourselves to the Spirit! 
Would that whole groups could so give them- 
selves that the Holy Spirit should, as of old, fall 
upon all who hear, overcoming all separateness ! 
The ideal of all spiritual healing is unison 
with God regarded as creative love and guiding 
wisdom. Through this conjunction one realizes 
that this end is what the Divine power has all 
the time been working for although we did not 
know it. This conjunction is not attained 
through mere humility or self-effacement ; for the 
human soul is not a mere medium or "recepta- 
cle," and we cannot remain in the period of 
childhood. The soul is primarily active, what- 
ever the attitude. We are by no means merely 
receptive, for example, when we complain, when 
we fear, rebel, lose patience, become wrought up, 
nervous, excited. Nor are we quiescent when 

Summary and Definition 273 

we are pessimistic, self - centred, selfish. All 
these are active states, and when we generate 
misery for ourselves we are affirmative, though 
in a mistaken way. What we need to do is, 
"about face" and use the same energy in accord 
with Life, not against it. All the power we em- 
ploy when we are spiteful, angry, jealous, mean, 
distrustful; when we agonize and become self- 
coercive, or try to control others, is in itself good ; 
it is primarily a question of the right use of our 

The Divine life in its instreaming is, as we 
have seen, unmistakably dynamic, the wisdom is 
for our active use, and the love for our quicken- 
ing. Unless we use the life that comes to us 
we can hardly expect more. This means that the 
peace our spirits feel is not for our private devo- 
tions alone, not for mere piety but to be mani- 
fested socially, in the voice, in the countenance, 
in service. It means that unless we change our 
attitude from self-love and the love of things to 
love of God and our fellow men we will not con- 
tinue to receive. It means that unless we think 
for ourselves we do not appropriate the Divine 

Here is where the practical method of realiz- 
ing the presence of God comes to our aid. In- 
stead of merely enjoying, acquiescing, as many 
do when they listen to sermons and other parts of 

274 Spiritual Health and Healing 

a service in church, thereby losing the impetus 
which calls for prompt response, we endeavor 
actively to enter into and make our own the life 
which is for our health, freedom, and social ex- 
pression. We are aware that we must feel or 
experience first in order to know; then we must 
think vividly, assimilate, appropriate. More- 
over, we well know that we must live first before 
we can help others. But the goal of realization 
is service through the power of example, through 
composure, inner freedom, control, poise. Every 
element of the inner process of realization is a 
means to an end. It is the social self that is 
called into wholeness of expression. The faith 
that makes whole appeals to the entire individual, 
to stand forth, to be thankful, glad, free, sane. 


The ability to realize the Divine presence for 
purposes of healing implies the possession by the 
soul or spirit of higher powers than those that 
are conditioned by the body, that is, intuition, 
spiritual receptivity, spiritual sight: spiritual 
senses acting independently of the physical 
senses. Thus one is able to communicate with 
and heal people at a distance, and healers pos- 
sessing intuition in marked degree can discern 
the states of their patients during "absent heal- 
ing." The ability to disconnect the attention 

Summary and Definition 275 

from the lower level of consciousness and con- 
centrate it upon the higher level, in quest of 
Divine guidance, is also spiritual. 

We start then with the fact that by turning 
aside from the ordinary rush of consciousness on 
the natural level one may connect one's active 
centre with a finer stream of energies and so 
apply those energies as to produce changes in 
consciousness, in mental attitude, and so (by 
making an impression that counts) inducing sub- 
conscious after-effects and bodily results. The 
emphasis is on the dynamic presence of God, and 
on the affirmative response of the soul. One 
thinks of the spiritual mind (the inner centre, 
secret place, "mind of Christ") as immediately 
open to the Divine life, according to need, and 
of the spontaneous flow of thought as the first 
result of this quickening. Thought in this sense 
(thought with the spirit, in spiritual light) is 
affirmative in high degree, directive, a vehicle of 
the Creative Presence. It uses mental imagery, 
ideas, directions of mind favoring ideals, force- 
ful attention or concentration, at will. The spir- 
itual activity is the central consideration. The 
mental picturing or creation of ideals, the reali- 
zational process or the particular thought em- 
ployed, the affirmation selected, is instrumental. 
The subconscious result follows upon the vivid 
mental impression, the dynamic moment. The 

276 Spiritual Health and Healing 

essential is to find the inner kingdom, find God. 
The changed centre of spiritual equilibrium then 
brings its quickening consequences. The specific 
thoughts that occupy the mind, during the fifteen 
minutes or so which constitute the silent treat- 
ment, develop out of the centralizing activity. 
That is to say, the activity is more fundamental, 
more widely inclusive than any one phase of the 
process, such as affirming, realizing, concentrat- 
ing on mental pictures, focussing the attention. 

The physicist would argue that this breaks the 
law of conservation of energy. But he limits 
energy to the natural world, and shuts mental 
life into a region apart. We do not sunder the 
natural from the mental in this manner, but look 
to the spiritual realm as the basis of causality, 
the one ultimate source of energy. Consequently, 
there is no chasm to bridge, no loss or creation 
of energy when a spiritual impulse goes forth 
to produce changes in the body through the brain. 
It is primarily a question of transmutation or 
sublimation, a different direction given to the 
same energy. To say this is to hold that the 
soul is essentially a centre of activity — not of 
mere thought. 

The soul may seem to be determined by bodily 
processes, and so indeed it is for most of us, most 
of the time. Thus we mistake processes for the 
activity that stirs within them. Thus we become 

Summary and Definition 277 

prisoners of nerves, of the brain, of habits, 
moods, directions of mind, stereotyped modes of 
thought, customary modes of feeling, and the 
like. But it need not be so. We can learn to 
reverse the process, living and thinking with the 
activity that produces, giving allegiance to the 
Life within this activity. Thus the external 
mental processes may be determined by the 
interior spiritual states, and the brain may be 
controlled by first controlling the spirit. 

To give assent to a wave of angry excitement 
or passion is to permit the soul to become a storm 
centre. To turn away from the violent emotion 
and connect with the stream of peace-energy is 
to feel a different mode of motion and to give 
forth a different kind of vibration. Here is the 
process in barest outline. You may call it either 
transmutation of energy, transfer of attention 
or upliftment of spiritual consciousness, as you 
will. The essential is to gain this power in some 
measure, then to increase it. When you win it 
you will have a basis in actual experience on 
which to build. 

As here regarded, the soul is in ideal a unity, 
however many the phases of consciousness. On 
the lower level, the soul is brought into relation 
with the activities of the body, through the voli- 
tions which we cannot consciously observe because 
they occur so quickly. For example, when one 

278 Spiritual Health and Healing 

jumps out of a chair, one is merely aware of 
a quickly formed decision to which the organism 
responds by habit. A little higher, the activity 
is more conscious and intellectual. There is less 
accompanying physical activity. The world of 
motion is represented by means of ideas. Higher 
still, the soul is active in modes that conceivably 
will survive after death. This is the level of 
clairvoyance, clairaudience, the perception of 
mental atmospheres, communication with persons 
at a distance "psychically." The soul is both 
active and passive on this level (passivity is 
minimum activity). That is, one may become 
consciously receptive, in the effort to catch a 
thought from another at a distance, to discern 
a person's interior state according to Quimby's 
intuitive method; one may be spontaneously re- 
ceptive, as in the case of an interior illumination 
which the mind merely watches for the time; or 
one may send one's activities forth in direct co- 
operation with the Spirit. By contrast one is 
aware through experience of the difference be- 
tween this higher level and the ordinary round 
of experiences. 

What one feels is a finer vibration, a great 
peace, a sense of inward repose. The inner self 
thus touched, the personality as a whole responds. 
The higher activity once received, it may be 
directed according to need, or sent forth to 

Summary and Definition 279 

another. To seek this inner communion day by 
day is to grow in repose, refinement, equanimity. 
The active centre thus developed is a vantage- 
point in times of stress, a centre of reserve-power 
whither one may turn in perfect confidence, well 
knowing that there is a boundless supply behind, 
that the activities of the lower level cannot pre- 
vail against it. 

Only with faltering words can one suggest 
the experience at its best. Beyond the point where 
analysis penetrates there is a Presence whose 
power lifts the soul to unwonted heights. There 
one has a vision of the unity of life, the Divine 
order, the wise beauty. Things and events fit 
together, their meaning is seen. One thinks not 
so much of the present moment or the next deed, 
as of the fulness of life's perfect round. Here 
one beholds the reality itself about which in other 
moments one merely philosophizes. One lives 
with the world-system. One abides with God in 
the eternal. One is not so much concerned with 
growth as with the world of the formative Spirit. 
One seems almost to hear the word before it is 
made flesh, one helps to make it flesh by accept- 
ing the spiritual law. One beholds all events 
from the point of view of the ideal, the details 
of their development seem of minor importance. 
Yet one receives a new impetus to action, a new 
desire to share these heavenly gifts with all whose 

280 Spiritual Health and Healing 

vision is less clear. The resulting practical im- 
petus is the best evidence one can give of the 
sanity and value of these experiences. 

How shall one begin? Simply by starting 
with what is clear and letting the rest follow. 
Here you are, a human soul. Here is human 
life, loving, tender, sympathetic. Here is God, 
the All-Father: you believe in His presence, His 
guiding love and wisdom. Cling to this relation- 
ship, and lif t the soul in responsiveness. You are 
alive and have problems. Others are alive and 
have their problems. In association with you 
are those who share your aspirations, whose con- 
tact with you enlists your better selfhood. Study 
these associations to learn what you are by what 
you do, to learn where you stand in the spiritual 
process. Discover what is even now taking place, 
how the present is leading to the future, what 
you are becoming. 

God is here in the common. Do not strain 
after Him. See Life in what you are passing 
through today, and let Life have its course. Be 
calm at the centre, that you may truly respond. 
Remember that the spiritual world is the more 
real world, is around us here and now. There 
is no space between, no time intervening. You 
are a spirit now, even in this apparently insig- 
nificant life-round. Do not postpone the high- 
est and best. 

Summary and Definition 281 

But remember this. The soul sees quickly and 
far in the superior realm, assimilates power and 
wisdom without regard to time. Thereupon the 
more slowly working intellectual process begins 
a corresponding assimilation. The flesh responds 
more slowly than the understanding. Therefore, 
when you have dwelt on the heights for a sea- 
son, give mind and body time to respond. Do 
not push them. Do not think that you have 
fallen back or lost hold, even though the way is 
dark and you cannot see beyond physical sen- 
sation. Give yourself time to grow. Let your- 
self grow in Life's way. Keep your eye upon 
the heights, but be moderate and faithful when 
clouds veil the summit. 

If you would help another, let love lead the 
way. The desire to help is a prayer for the 
power of spiritual healing. The silent, deeply 
poised attitude is dynamic. Hold to this and 
adopt supplementary methods only so far as may 
be needed. There is guidance at hand for each 
step of the way. There is a "stream of tendency" 
or power. Pause and observe that you may 
learn whither the stream is flowing. Do not 
judge by the sensations. Live wholly in con- 
sciousness of the readjustments which Life is 
carrying forward. Trust Life and let your 
dynamic attitude be quickened by it, in guided 

282 Spiritual Health and Healing 


Quimby's intuitive method differed from the 
affirmative method now employed by those who 
use suggestion as the chief agency in healing. 
The first dependence was put upon intuitive im- 
pressions gained by sitting silently by the sick, 
and rendering the mind (the spiritual senses) 
inwardly open to discern the inner conditions and 
causes. The process included (1) discernment 
of the real interior inner mental state or attitude, 
for example, rebellion, complaint, fear, nervous 
excitement, bitterness; (2) knowledge of the 
opinion or belief concerning the ailment, the 
name attached to it, the physician's diagnosis or 
the patient's misinterpretation; and (3) insight 
into the actual condition of the organism in con- 
trast with the fancied condition or the patient's 
belief. Thus suppressed grief might be a cause, 
worry over the notion that one had committed 
the unpardonable sin, domestic unhappiness, 
worry over financial and other affairs ; while the 
supposed cause might be some physical symptom 
of slight moment. The actual cause discerned, 
one could proceed to "the wisdom of the situa- 
tion," the truth which would set the patient free. 
The "silent treatment" took its two-fold clue in 
this way: from the need of the patient and from 
the Divine truth, and varied with the case, the 

Summary and Definition 283 

need, the special occasion. The process was reali- 
zation. The healer's thought was instrumental 
to the therapeutic power of the Spirit. The 
emphasis was on the spiritual truth of the 
patient's being. 

Since the early days, the tendency has been to 
substitute specific affirmations for each case, and 
to deny the reality of any besetting conditions. 
This change came about partly because in the 
diffusion of the silent method among many types 
of healers there were few who had either the 
intuition or the healing power of the pioneers. 
Then, too, some people took the work up whose 
interests might briefly be described as mental 
rather than spiritual. But if we are interested 
to attain the spiritual level we will naturally 
advance from merely mental methods as soon as 
we can, opening the spirit that it may grow in 
intuition. The affirmations or suggestions do not 
always "take." There are more difficult cases 
which do not work out in that way. There is 
often need of deep discernment into causes. If 
we find a patient in an attitude of weak or re- 
bellious adjustment, exciting, pessimistic, self- 
assertive, over-sensitive, it may be necessary to 
persuade him through conversation to adopt a 
different philosophy of life. The more intimately 
we discern the heart the more directly we can 
proceed. The prime interest is : intelligently to 

284 Spiritual Health and Healing 

aid the patient to understand himself spiritually, 
hence to begin to modify his attitude. The ex- 
planation given includes an account of the real 
origin of the trouble, and an ideal to follow. The 
appeal is to reason as well as to the spirit. The 
further one carries the intuitive method the more 
clearly one sees that no two individuals are alike, 
no two experiences in the silence are alike: one 
is led by the spirit of the occasion. At the same 
time one is free to make the best possible use of 
specific affirmations or realizations, according to 
the case. 

One should start always with the thought of 
God, make vivid the idea of the Divine presence 
by selecting some sentence from the Bible, such 
as, "Be still, and know that I am God," which 
aids the process of detaching one's consciousness 
from the outer world and renews the realizational 
activity. Some prefer always to begin with the 
same sentence, since it has hallowed associations 
and readily admits one into the heart of the reali- 
zation. Think of the Presence in the sense of 
vivifying power or energy, as quickening, life- 
giving. Consider what that Presence must be in 
itself, undisturbed at heart, in perfect peace, in 
ineffable composure, all-comprehending wisdom, 
all-sustaining love. Make such affirmations as 
best bring this realization before you. 

Then see the Spirit as going forth from its 

Summary and Definition 285 

centre (which is everywhere, its circumference 
nowhere) in power-conveying activity or vibra- 
tion, going forth into action to touch the hearts 
or spirits of men, imbuing them with love, guid- 
ing their minds with wisdom. 

Having dwelt on the God-ward side for a time, 
turn to the human and see the spirit or soul in 
its integrity in the presence of this divinely per- 
fect peace and composure, able to receive love 
and wisdom according to need. 

Then put the two together: "Thou wilt keep 
him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on 
Thee, because he trusteth in Thee." "In Him 
we live, and move, and have our being" in the 
sense that we participate in this vivifying, power- 
bringing Presence. The inward stillness or reali- 
zation invites the presence. We speak as it were 
to ourselves as if for God when we say, "Be still 
and know that I am God." We catch for the 
moment the Divine point of view, seeing our own 
restlessness and lack of faith. We project our 
consciousness as if looking down from a heavenly 
height and stilling the tempest, bidding every- 
thing in our nature fall into line. Then it dawns 
upon us with clarifying consciousness that unless 
we always dwelt in the ineffable Presence, unless 
we always lived, moved, and had our being in 
God in reality (whatever the appearance), we 
never could exist for a moment, we never would 

286 Spiritual Health and Healing 

continue to be. Our first step in realization, 
therefore, simply brings into consciousness that 
which all the way along is the supreme truth of 

Having renewed our consciousness of the Di- 
vine presence in general, the next consideration 
is in favor of the special point on which we need 
help, on which another needs light. To separate 
one's thought as affirmatively as possible from the 
old associates, the old imagery, fears, thoughts, 
emotions, memories connected with the experience 
which one is endeavoring to overcome, and to 
make this separation clear-cut and distinctive, is 
to give our realization the force of a denial of 
the power of the old conditions in which one has 
been immersed. This in brief is what the vic- 
torious attitude accomplishes. It asserts so pos- 
itively that one must find God that it makes 
light of the greatest obstacle. For this attitude 
means that one has so given the spirit to the 
ideal that one knows no such word as fail. What 
we have learned thus clearly for ourselves we 
can see clearly for another. We may take the 
other into the Presence, seeing him in the light 
of the perfect ideal, in peace, in health, in free- 
dom. We may draw the sharpest possible line 
between the spirit as thus free and the old con- 
ditions. Sometimes this can best be done by 
realizing such freedom in general. Again, one 

Summary and Definition 287 

finds it desirable to be more specific, directive. 
The thoughts that come and go and constitute the 
subject-matter of the realization, take their clue 
from this directive activity. 

Experience shows that a realization is made 
definite by being directed to the actual life we 
are living today, from within. Hence it is im- 
portant to avoid being abstract, as if experience 
on the natural level of consciousness did not 
exist at all. Sometimes indeed there is no reali- 
zation which equals the thought of the realities of 
the higher level, the assertion of "pure spirit" as 
the only reality. But if we overdo this thought 
we may be out of touch with the very life which 
we wish to spiritualize. The result might be a 
glossing over of actual conditions and we might 
seem to be meeting with splendid success, even 
for years. But a state glossed over, like one sup- 
pressed, will have its day. That is why we find 
some people falling from abstract grace and be- 
ginning anew, depending on deep breathing, 
out-of-door exercise, vegetarian diet, and any 
other physical method by which they can reestab- 
lish their balance. But putting our idealism in 
relation to common sense we may begin as we can 
hold out, steadily carrying our ideals into practice. 
And so we find leaders going steadily on as the 
years pass, never falling from grace, never ex- 
periencing a relapse or recurrence of old trou- 

288 Spiritual Health and Healing 

bles. These have kept their eyes on the stars 
while also walking wisely on earth. They have 
dared affirm the realities of the higher level with- 
out denying the lessons of the lower. They have 
seen the Spirit going forth into incarnation, 
becoming concrete in the flesh. 

To be concrete, therefore, we need to realize 
that the Power or Life with us to heal is im- 
mediately at hand in such a way that, opportu- 
nity being granted, it tends to enter where we 
need it most, to proceed from the centre outward 
to do its regenerative work until it touches the 
"ultimates" or externals. The reason some have 
first had to learn to breathe deeply, change their 
diet, or overcome nervous tensions by practising 
relaxation, before they could make much inner 
headway, is found in the fact that they were beset 
by all these tensions, and their mere declaration 
of perfection on the abstract level was not suf- 
ficient. But if we understand these matters from 
within we can learn to take off the tensions with- 
out trying now this method of relaxation and 
now that, groping along for we know not pre- 
cisely what. Then, working from within out- 
ward when our ideals elevate us, our tastes 
change, our standards become purer, we may 
change outwardly in response and find that the 
simpler, purer modes of living belong with the 
inner changes and have come to stay. Then as 

Summary and Definition 289 

matter of habit we will keep the system freer, 
more and more in harmony with the things of 
the Spirit. The result will be constructive or 
creative health. We will not then be forever 
considering how to overcome, how to demonstrate, 
but will live tha tmode of lif e which brings with 
it health as a natural consequence without think- 
ing about it. 

Workers in this field have reached their present 
point of success by seizing upon a few practical 
ideas and putting them to the test, beginning 
wherever they happened to be and forging ahead. 
We should simplify. It is not a complex process, 
this method of healing. The details may interest 
us but they are not necessary. We should not 
expect to have these all made clear in advance of 
experience. There is an element which experi- 
ence itself adds when we have put into use what 
we possess. So if we do nothing more at first 
than repeat a scriptural sentence, holding to 
it steadily, this endeavor may open the way. 
There is, of course, a complete spiritual science 
of the whole process, with its psychological ele- 
ments, its spiritual principles, with knowledge of 
all the laws, forces and conditions. But this is 
rather the intellectual or philosophical part of it. 
There are times for reviewing this part, that we 
may bring all these considerations into their uni- 
ty. When it comes to actual practice, however, 

290 Spiritual Health and Healing 

we need to be specific and to simplify. Thus the 
three words, "Peace, be still," may suffice to open 
the inner door for us, and there we are in the 
realm of pure Spirit. Then, pausing a moment, 
a clue may disclose itself, and we are in the 
realm of pure Spirit with a clue or leading. 

If we could at once do what we want to, in 
our impulsiveness, we might wish to take our- 
selves out of the conflict of forces. But we are 
in this balance between heavenly love and self- 
love for a purpose: to see the consequences of 
both, that is, that heaven or hell begins with the 
one or the other; to come to judgment in the 
living present, noting what has brought us where 
we stand; that we may freely choose, adopt a 
prevailing love. Then at last when we identify 
ourselves with love for God and man, in prefer- 
ence to selfishness, the conflict can be overcome, 
will cease. That is the whole meaning of suffer- 
ing: that we may be brought to the point where 
we can live without it — so far as what we pro- 
duce ourselves is concerned. Then we naturally 
turn about and begin to carry the glad news to 
others which will set them free also. The Divine 
guidance holds us down to just this concrete 
situation till we learn it. This is the wonder and 
beauty of our practical life with God. The law 
of the Divine-human is the great law to learn. 
The same law which seems an infliction while we 

Summary and Definition 291 

are "under the law," as the great apostle puts 
it, is the law of our emancipation when we under- 

People try to evade this law who maintain that 
it is only a question of "applied psychology," of 
claiming wealth and piling up the millions, as 
if the goal of life were to get rich ; they tell you 
that the spiritual can all be left out, that we need 
have nothing to do with religious considerations. 
But granted this higher insight for which we are 
pleading, it becomes plain that all the psychologi- 
cal machinery, so to speak, may be lifted up to 
the higher level. Then we may see with crystal 
clearness that "the laborer is worthy of his hire," 
that there is a law of spiritual abundance such 
that what we need for our life and work in the 
world will be forthcoming so far as we are pre- 
pared, when we respond and move from within 
outward. The law exists to "bring us to Christ," 
to give us "the mind of Christ." It compels us 
to reap as we have sown, that we may learn its 
power over us. There is no such thing as demon- 
stration over it by the human will or by human 
thought alone. To put prosperity first in rank 
is to fail to find it in the true sense at all. But 
prosperity according to what we deserve is indeed, 
like constructive health, one of the fruits of the 
Spirit, one of the things that are added, that fol- 
low. The essential is to seek the Spirit. 



We come now, in conclusion, to certain ques- 
tions of a psychological nature which need to 
be considered if vistas for further thought and 
study are to be opened before us. These ques- 
tions are often asked. They are on the whole 
secondary questions, and yet the pathway of 
advance into the spiritual life is the more 
thoroughly cleared if we regard them as of 
interest in themselves. 

For example, the question is often raised 
whether or not it is possible to explain spiritual 
healing on the basis of "suggestion." Many 
writers on the subject believe that such healing 
can be thus explained. Indeed, they hold that 
it is merely a question of applied psychology, 
anyway, and so-called spiritual thought need 
not be introduced at all. They insist that sug- 
gestion is the prime factor, whether understood 
and acknowledged or not. And they seem to 
have scored a point in the argument against de- 
votees of this or that spiritual faith, as if the 


Spikitual Psychology 293 

whole idea of our relationship to God and the 
spiritual life were superfluous. 

From the point of view of this book the theory 
of suggestion is adequate only so far as the 
mental elements of the healing process are con- 
cerned, that is, only so far as it is a question 
of telepathy or thought transference, and of 
the changes of mind wrought in the patient 
other than regenerative or spiritual changes. 

It has long been recognized, for example, that 
in order for the therapeutist's suggestion to 
take effect in the mind of the percipient there 
must be predisposing conditions, such as faith 
or expectant attention. The percipient's favor- 
able attitude amounts to self-suggestion. This 
auto-suggestion would no doubt explain many 
of the results occurring at sacred shrines where 
so-called miracles of healing take place, and in 
all instances where there is no activity from 
without sufficient to produce a decisive change 
within. It would then be a question of the 
favoring conditions in the percipient's mentality 
as a whole, in contrast with any element of his 
nature which might act as a counter-suggestion. 

Mr. Myers long ago contended that "not one 
suggestion in a million reaches or influences the 
subliminal self," — that portion of our nature 
which lies below the level or threshold of ordi- 
nary consciousness. But even in the case of the 

294 Spiritual Health and Healing 

one suggestion which is instrumental in pro- 
ducing a cure, the suggestion must be some- 
thing more than a name or form of words. 
There must follow, as Mr. Myers has shown 
more plainly than most writers on the subject, a 
profound nervous change started by some pow- 
erful nervous stimulus from without or within. 1 
Granted this change following upon the sug- 
gestion, what are its conditions, what are the 
forces at work, and what lie? back of the ner- 
vous activities? What is healing in its final 
analysis ? 

Suppose we agree that suggestion conveyed 
by telepathy is the instrumental cause in many 
cases, what shall we say about those cases where 
the favoring auto-suggestions and conditions 
are lacking, and where there are so many in- 
hibitions or counter-suggestions in the percip- 
ient's nature that it is practically impossible 
to introduce a suggestion edgewise? Spiritual 
healers have succeeded when there was no faith, 
when there was pronounced opposition in men- 
tal attitude, when, in fact, all known conditions 
were unfavorable. They have maintained that 
there is a higher or more direct access to a pa- 
tient's inner nature than by means of thought 
transference. Indeed, some have insisted that 
no suggestion of theirs could have produced 

i "Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death." 

Spiritual Psychology 295 

such a decisive effect as sometimes results. It 
may well be that "vibration" is transferred, they 
will say. But at times there is less mental ac- 
tivity or "thought," the realization seems to be 
almost wholly that of maintaining an inner 
state, a state of peace and exceptional command 
in the "inner centre." The favoring process 
set up within the patient is incidental to a higher 
activity, of which the nervous change is only 
an expression. The decisive activity appears 
to be spiritual in type. To the therapeutist the 
"thoughts" he thinks seem to be incidental, just 
as his personality is secondary. He seems to be 
rather a partner to an experience which does 
indeed manifest itself in his thoughts, but which 
is greater in power than they are, a spiritual ex- 
perience which he shares but does not assume 
wholly to control. And to drop out the idea of 
these beatific values in favor of suggestion as 
decisive would seem to be to lose a supreme 

Mr. Myers maintained that there is "some 
unknown cause" which determines whether the 
suggestion is to "take" or no. Looking further 
than the theory of suggestion can carry us, he 
finds it imperative to believe it possible by a 
"right disposition of our minds to draw energy 
from an environing world of spiritual life." 
The real question then is, What is it that 

296 Spiritual Health and Healing 

touches the spring which moves us so potently 
in our deeper selfhood? How is it that we 
draw strength from the unseen? It is plainly 
something dynamic within us that is set free. 
But this attitude of the heart or response of the 
secret place of the spirit is the prime essential 
which we have been considering all along in the 
preceding pages. The majority of readers will 
care more to learn under what conditions it is 
to be attained than to explain the psychological 
process. And plainly there is a very great ad- 
vantage in assigning the efficiency directly to 
the Eternal Presence, whatever the mental aids 
may be. 

Why is it that even when the theory of spirit- 
ual healing is stated clearly and persuasively 
it is still difficult in some cases to put it into 
practice ? 

There are several reasons. Our conventional 
education proceeds on the assumption that the 
human mind is chiefly intellect, that we have 
reached the "age of reason 5 ' in the world at 
large, and all that is necessary is to find the 
right form of words, the persuasive argument. 
Mental healing in all its forms still shows the 
effect of this intellectualism, hence the emphasis 
on the "power of thought" and on suggestion, 
to the neglect of the will and the other mental 

Spikitual Psychology 297 

elements, as I have shown at length elsewhere. 1 
We cling to the notion that the intellect is some- 
thing like three-fourths of life, despite Matthew 
Arnold's wise remark that "conduct is three- 
fourths of life." Therefore when our intellec- 
tual methods fail we are nonplussed. 

Meanwhile, our nature as a whole is inti- 
mately related to the unconscious and the sub- 
conscious. There is, for example, the whole 
range of instincts, including the instinct for 
self-preservation, the sexual instinct, and all 
those promptings which manifest curiosity, im- 
itativeness, and the like. These actuate the hu- 
man being long before there is consciousness of 
them. So, too, our desires and emotions begin on 
an impulsive or unconscious basis; we are aware 
of feelings of pleasure and pain because of proc- 
esses going on which were originally pre-con- 
scious- Again, our habits are outgrowths of the 
unconscious. Consciousness in anything like 
an explicit sense comes in with choice, that is, 
with thought and will, when the self is devel- 
oped enough to intervene, emphasizing some of 
the desires, trying to outwit others. As highly 
developed as thought may be, the major part of 
mental life still remains below the threshold, 
carried on subconsciously, as we say. Our 
whole conscious life is a progressive discovery 

i "Handbook of the New Thought." 

298 Spiritual Health and Healing 

of the elements of our nature which have been 
operative all along but over which we have had 
little control. If our technique is to become 
complete it must take all these elements into 
account, also our suppressions and repressions, 
our dissatisfactions and inner conflicts, especi- 
ally our inhibitions. We are not carried very 
far by assuming that the chief obstacles with- 
in us are "wrong thoughts." They are much 
more likely to be misunderstood or unexpressed 
desires and emotional complexes. All these 
may act as counter-suggestions to offset a 
healer's work. Hence the necessity of carrying 
that work much further than suggestions can 
carry it, in favor of deeply interior spiritual 

Now, mental healing may indeed be lifted to 
the spiritual level by realizations involving the 
idea of "the Christ within," and the results may 
greatly surpass explanation. That is to say, 
the healer may have touched some of these sub- 
merged elements of a patient's nature without 
knowing what he was touching. For there is 
ordinarily no such penetrating insight into the 
deeper self as made possible the remarkable 
pioneer work of P. P. Quimby in this field. 
But what is needed is an adequate spiritual psy- 
chology, a science of all these mental and spir- 

Spiritual Psychology 299 

itual elements centering about the will or "pre- 
vailing love" with its accompanying activities. 

These deeper activities include, for instance, 
the so - called "besetting sin," the temperamen- 
tal problem. Spiritual therapy sometimes falls 
short by aiming at mere harmony, inner poise 
or control, without touching upon the more 
central question of self-love, self-esteem or self- 
ishness. It does not always push through to 
the point of radical changes in conduct, in "the 
life." But in many instances it is plain that 
there is need of something more searching than 
"transmutation" or "sublimation." The newly 
formed habit of enjoying "the silence" is not 
enough. Nor are all matters cleared up by 
reading or by attending lectures and taking 
lessons. The pathway that is "straight and 
narrow" still lies ahead for some of the devotees. 
Individual salvation is no more adequate in the 
realm of health than it is in the Church, since 
the real consideration after all is regeneration, 
is change into the life of service. The true 
"Christ within" is social, universal, and this 
Christ is not attained by complacently identify- 
ing oneself with the Christ in interior contem- 

In short, there appears to be no suggestion, 
silence, sublimation of lower emotions or trans- 
mutation of unworthy desires, which takes the 

300 Spiritual Health and Healing 

place of the Christian necessity of coming to 
judgment and seeing things a$ they are; and 
sometimes a person's illnesses and troubles are 
so connected with this the deepest problem of 
the soul that there is no freedom except through 
regeneration. In a way this is true of all of us. 
The method of spiritual healing is another way 
of finding it out. We realize after a time that 
the initiatives do not all rest with the individual, 
as if everything within us could be controlled 
by thought. We need all the development 
possible in this direction. We need a complete 
technique for disclosing the subconscious. But 
there is also need of the consecration to spirit- 
ual service which in the case of Quimby and 
his more ardent followers beautified the thera- 
peutic work and made of it a religion in the 
spirit of the original gospel. Such consecra- 
tion borders too nearly on the greatest self-sac- 
rifice to attract many of us. Consequently 
there still remain to be accomplished those 
greater works which were said of old to be made 
possible only by "fasting and prayer." 

It would doubtless open a new field of 
thought for some if they should try out the idea 
of spiritual influx, that is, by putting emphasis 
on the incoming life as the decisive element 
rather than upon the thought which may be 
only an effect of this life. For this conception 

Spiritual Psychology 301 

of our spiritual nature involves emphasis on the 
will or love as prior to and more interior than 
the understanding. More explicitly, the Divine 
love is said to flow into the will and the Divine 
wisdom to flow into the understanding or intel- 
lect. The ' 'inmost" region of the spirit first re- 
ceives the influx before it enters what we com- 
monly know as the "mind." If we then think 
of the understanding as receiving this life after 
it has touched "the heart" as love, and distrib- 
uting it through the inner world in general, we 
have a way of thinking about the operation of 
the healing power which produces the decisive 
nervous change and touches the bodily organ- 
ism. The ideal then is that we may be so open 
at the centre that the Divine life shall free- 
ly course through our affections, quicken our 
thoughts, and pass without let or hindrance 
into our activities as a whole. Perfect spiritual 
health would be the result. 

Reverend Mr. Evans incorporated this idea of 
the Divine influx into his interpretation of the 
Quiimby philosophy before publishing his first 
book, "The Mental Cure," 1869. But very 
little has been made of this view. The result of 
its adoption would be a more thorough study of 
the whole relationship of the soul to the body. 
It would then be important to distinguish be- 
tween the two influxes, that from the spiritual 

302 Spiritual Health and Healing 

world and that from the natural. If we under- 
stood the latter influx better we might in time 
have an adequate idea of our heredity, and we 
should see why the new therapy has sometimes 

Our interest in the elaborate process should 
not however keep us from concentrating upon 
the working ideas which bring direct results. 
Granted that the quickening impetus comes 
from the Divine love, and that love or sympathy 
on our part is the central motive, we naturally 
seek the most practical means of realizing it 
in actual service. And so the question arises 
whether in giving silent treatment one should 
think of the specific trouble or need on the part 
of the patient. 

This depends upon the case. Sometimes a 
general realization is effective without direct 
thought of the patient or his needs. The heal- 
er's spirit, absorbed in contemplation of the 
"perfect love" which casts out fear, the peace 
"which passeth all understanding," may be in- 
strumental in the best sense of the word in over- 
coming the nervousness, excitement, or irrita- 
bility in the patient. But there are cases which 
are reached only through detailed understand- 
ing, followed by specific realization. Patients 
differ in temperament, also. Some readily re- 
spond to a general realization, while others are 

Spiritual Psychology 303 

unyielding in type. The intuitive healer be- 
lieves there is guidance for every occasion and 
every case. He does not assume to control the 
whole situation. He seeks to do what is given 
him to do, in the Divine wisdom. 

Should we treat the subjective mind? 

This term, "subjective mind," suggests Hud- 
son's, "The Law of Psychic Phenomena," with 
its artificial distinction between the subjective 
and the objective. Actual mental life does not 
appear to confirm the distinction. Those who 
ask this question are apt to believe that the 
whole trouble with us is subjective, that is, there 
is something hidden which can be taken from us 
as a tooth might be extracted, leaving us free 
to go on thinking and living as before. It 
would then be a question of finding the right 
combination in each case, the suggestion which 
strikes home. But not even a prejudice comes 
forth thus easily. We are on the road to free- 
dom from a prejudice when we catch ourselves 
in the act of expressing it, when we note that 
it is a prejudice and undesirable, and will to 
overcome it. Nothing can take the place of 
recognition. And recognition is conscious, not 
"subjective." Spiritual healing is not a proc- 
ess to be performed on us only while we sleep. 
Our woes have sprung in part from our own 
conduct. We have been sowing as well as 


304 Spiritual Health and Healing 

reaping. Our responsibility still remains, even 
when it is partly a question of unconscious com- 
plexes which must be brought to the surface. 

There are indeed inner and outer phases of 
the same mind. There is a difference between 
inner thought, thought "with the spirit/' and 
thought as most people know it when they use 
their brains in intellectual work. There is in- 
tuition. There is guidance. We come to know 
what spiritual thinking is by learning about the 
secret place. What we need is more intimate 
knowledge of the spirit in contrast with bodily 
life. What should be treated is the whole self. 
And silent treatment is a means to an end, the 
end being the inculcation of that spiritual wis- 
dom which shows people how to live. Some 
of the former therapeutists gave up the prac- 
tice of treating silently many years ago, in favor 
of the more important work of helping people 
to understand themselves as spiritual beings. 
The so-called "subjective" is only a small part 
of this our total spiritual selfhood. 

What is the function of the subconscious mind 
in healing? 

Again, the question suggests theories involv- 
ing exaggerated emphasis, to the neglect of 
our conscious selfhood. What is needed is a 
clear conception of the unconscious, the sub- 
conscious and the conscious in proper relation. 

Spiritual Psychology 305 

Most of the mental elements of disease are in 
the realm of the unconscious, so far as the pa- 
tient is concerned, although all these are related 
to the life he leads, that is, to conduct. Con- 
sequently the hidden causes need to be brought 
to light, the repressed desires, the dissatisfac- 
tions, the inner conflicts, the gnawing fears, the 
suppressed emotional complexes, or what not. 
The healer discerns and understands these first. 
He then explains them to the patient in the re- 
educational work following upon the treatment. 
The patient then has opportunity to change his 
attitude, if he will; to lead a wiser life, with less 
friction, decreasing fear, less worry, less rebel- 
lion and conflict. If the patient thus wills to 
modify his life in accordance with the new pos- 
sibilities put before him, beneficial subconscious 
after-effects will follow. But nothing can take 
the place of coming to judgment. The subcon- 
scious mind is not a miracle-worker. It must be 
given its cue. It is as obedient as a shadow. It 
is a phase of consciousness in general, not a sep- 
arate "mind." 

How is absent healing possible? 

In the same way as a silent treatment given 
w r hen the patient is present. There is as much 
to explain in the case of healing which takes 
place when the patient is three feet away as when 
he is six hundred miles distant. Silent treat- 

306 Spiritual Health and Healing 

merit, that is, healing without manipulation or 
the use of electricity, medicine, hypnotic 
"passes," or any other visible device, takes place 
through inner affinity, "vibration," telepathy or 
some mode of communication which we may 
briefly call "wireless." The explanation usually 
offered is that it occurs through the operation of 
faculties or senses higher than those functioning 
through the brain. These powers are said to act 
independently of space. Hence space is no ob- 
stacle — unless the idea of space stands in our 

Whether it is desirable to try to heal people 
absently whom we have never seen is a different 
matter. Those who are conscientious will ordi- 
narily say that they must first know the patient, 
for they need some clue or means of identifica- 
tion. A highly intuitive healer might discern this 
clue at a distance. 

Why do former patients sometimes relapse 
into their old troubles? 

Because there has been no real interior change. 
There may have been a glossing over through 
acceptance of some form of mental therapy 
involving denials rather than understanding. 
This may have given the appearance of a cure. 
The illusion may have been kept up for years. 
But nature always compels us to disclose our 
hidden illusions after a while. 

Spiritual Psychology 307 

Our deeper troubles are apt to be tempera- 
mental. We may find some temporary remedy 
in the form of a theory that is pleasing. But 
eventually we need to see just how our tempera- 
mental tendencies cause our trouble; for ex- 
ample, in the case of a highly emotional or ar- 
tistic temperament, an impulsive or high-strung 
type. Hence life brings us to the point where 
we must face the underlying attitude or pre- 
vailing love which has entered into all that has 
brought us our trouble. 

What is the connection between healing and 
psychical experiences? 

It would take a whole volume to answer this 
question adequately. In "The Open Vision" I 
have argued that in this new age we are working 
forward into insight where all seemed dark, be- 
cause of ignorance of the powers that function 
in us when we are psychically active, and because 
we have failed to discriminate between experi- 
ences which can be explained from within the 
personality and those which may be said to imply 
the presence of angels or spirits. The "open 
vision" of old was possible when there was spirit- 
ual perception and innocence, in the world's 
spiritual childhood. People came to believe in 
spiritual realities because they enjoyed spiritual 
experiences. Later generations believed in such 
realities because of doctrines referring to such 

308 Spiritual Health and Healing 

experiences, when "there was no longer any open 
vision." We in our day are passing beyond the 
doctrinal stage to the period of verification 
through inner experience. We need to know 
spiritual experience as such before we can under- 
stand "psychical" experiences. For we need 
vision, a standard, wisdom. Hence it is impor- 
tant for us to grow in spiritual understanding 
rather than in the cultivation of anything border- 
ing on the psychic. 

Now, in spiritual healing we, of course, use 
the same powers, such as intuition, clairvoyance, 
clair audience, the discernment of "mental at- 
mospheres" at a distance, talking "with the 
spirit," as in experiences set apart from another 
point of view as "psychical." But we ordinarily 
call them "spiritual," because we seek to realize 
the Eternal Presence, not to commune with 
"spirits." Hence there is a difference of motive 
or interest. Spiritual healing may be practised 
without concerning oneself with psychical phe- 
nomena, popularly so-called. It is better thus. 
Then one may come to see that such a work pur- 
sued through the years has brought the mind into 
possession of a standard by which to judge the 

Again, it is important to help the sick to see 
their way through to spiritual understanding. 
Psychism is a kind of disease, with some. There 

Spiritual Psychology 309 

is need of spiritual re-education and enlighten- 
ment. It is not orderly to seek communications 
with departed spirits. 

As indicated in "The Open Vision," Dr. 
Quimby acquired the same powers in high degree 
which people with spiritistic interests would have 
cultivated so as to become psychics. But he 
steered clear of the psychical side-issues and used 
his clairvoyance and his other powers in the 
spiritual diagnosis of disease and the alleviation 
of human suffering. In his writings, as recently 
published in "The Quimby Manuscripts," we 
find one of his strong reasons. Spiritualism was 
just then coming into extensive vogue. Me- 
diums claimed to summon up "the dead," and to 
heal by their aid. Dr. Quimby sought to make 
clear the way to spiritual healing through Divine 
aid, through life in contrast with the "the dead." 
The airy shapes summoned by mediums seemed 
to him creations of a person's belief. But what 
we need is something more than a product of our 
own fancy. We need that truth which will set 
men free. 

Is it necessary to believe in obsession or demo- 
niacal possession in order to explain certain types 
of obstinate disease or insanity? 

This is a mooted question just now. We seem 
to be returning to a period when one can believe 
anything once classified as superstition. In ac- 

310 Spiritual Health and Healing 

cordance with the principles advocated in the 
foregoing chapters, let us say that our direct 
concern in any case is with the centre of attrac- 
tion and development which has brought the 
given individual where he is today. Let us then 
look as deeply as we can, and ever more deeply 
into his inner life to discover its hidden complexes 
and its points of contact. Even if we believe in 
obsession we would need to break the connection 
from within. We are primarily concerned with 
these inner connections. We may well undertake 
to explain as many of them as possible in terms of 
what has been going on within the self, with its 
instincts and impulses, its habits and emotions, 
its desires and inner conflicts. Whatever may 
be outside the self, it is to the self just what it 
appears to be in terms of what the self believes. 
Thus a temptation may be objectified into a con- 
test with the Devil. But our devils subside out 
of the objective as we grow in wisdom and in 
psychology. At last we come face to face with 
self-love, and that is demon enough. 

What light does Mr. Myers's theory of the 
subliminal self throw on spiritual healing? 

A very clear light. In terms of this theory, 
most of the self lies below the level or threshold 
of consciousness, as we ordinarily know it; the 
deeper or "subliminal" self has wider points of 
contact with reality, including realities in the 

Spiritual Psychology 311 

spiritual world. Thus the mathematical prodigy 
is able to give immediate answer to a complex 
problem ordinarily involving long processes of 
computation. Thus genius in general is explica- 
ble. So, too, P. P. Quimby had wider contacts 
of a certain type enabling him to have direct 
communion with the energy or power through 
which he accomplished his works of healing. Es- 
sential to this deeper process was his clairvoyance 
or intuition, which disclosed the states to be 
healed in patients of many types. 

According to this theory we come nearer un- 
derstanding what the spirit is and what it can 
accomplish. We see that it undoubtedly pos- 
sesses what Quimby called "spiritual senses," as 
counterparts of the natural senses. That is, we 
possess not only clairvoyance ("telesthesia" or 
inner vision) and clairaudience (inner audition), 
but other direct perceptions which include the 
discernment of "mental atmospheres," the de- 
tection of what Quimby called "odors," percep- 
tible at a distance. There are "emergences" or 
"uprushes" from the subliminal which disclose 
processes that have been going on subconsciously. 
There is a sense of independence of space. Then 
too in some cases there may be what Myers calls 
a "clairvoyant excursion" by which information 
is gained at a distance as if by self -projection. 

312 Spiritual Health and Healing 

All these abilities appear to be needed in order 
to explain actual experiences. 

The explanation is safer in Myers's hands, be- 
cause he keeps close to the facts of psychical re- 
search and does not allow himself to adopt the 
extravagances of popular believers in the "sub- 
conscious mind." One may find in this clear- 
cut theory of the subliminal self a way to develop 
a sound spiritual psychology. We may then see 
how it was possible for Quimby to discern what 
we call the unconscious portion of a patient's life, 
long before the days of psycho-analysis and the 
Freudian technique. A spiritual discernment 
which should be as far-reaching as his would dis- 
close more elements in the hidden life than any 
mere psycho-analysis of dreams or suppressed 
complexes. The study of the implied points of 
contact below the threshold of consciousness 
would take us into the wide region of relation- 
ship or correspondence with the spiritual world. 
Myers sought an explanation of the whole hu- 
man self in relation to that world and the natural 
world as well. His insight opened up the most 
promising vistas for our study. And we need 
scope, A specialist's theory, like that of Freud 
with his analysis of dreams, is likely to leave us in 
a limited region, with exaggerated emphasis on 
one or more of the instincts. Again, we are apt 
to be limited by the physiological psychology of 

Spiritual Psychology 313 

the day, as if the whole sphere of the unconscious 
and the subconscious could be reduced to states of 
the brain. In contrast with these special views, 
Myers's interpretation of the subliminal self 
opens up the whole field of the relationship be- 
tween the present world of experience and the 
future life. 

The various inquiries tend however to con- 
verge. We need not be negative or sceptical in 
our attitude toward the " subconscious mind" just 
because over-emphasis has been put upon it. The 
tendency of thought in this field is toward the 
conviction that there are deeper or more interior 
receptivities, wider or more varied points of con- 
tact in the subliminal than as conscious beings 
we are aware of. This is a great truth. Then 
with this truth let us not fail to put that no less 
important one, namely, that however great the 
powers of our hidden nature nothing ever takes 
the place of consciousness as selective and voli- 
tional. In the long run everything goes back to 
what we love most as conscious beings. If there 
is an open door in our consciousness with regard 
to spiritual realities there will be an open door 
subconsciously. But if our hearts are closed up 
here on the level of consciousness, we in vain ex- 
pect our subconscious mind to be open-hearted. 
Consciousness was given us for judgment, for 
choice, for moral decision. Granted a volition in 

314 Spiritual Health and Healing 

favor of love to God and man, the rest of our 
nature will do its best to carry it out into the 
realm of conduct. What we love most affects the 
whole self, however we may name its various de- 
partments. What we love most affects the whole 
realm of our conduct too. So any special inter- 
est, such as spiritual healing, is concerned with 
the prevailing love. And the more directly we 
can appeal to the love-nature to change from 
selfishness in any of its forms to service and love 
to God, the more will all the other special inter- 
ests having to do with the human self be bene- 
fited also. 


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